The best time to drink coffee

Coffee with milk pour shotMost of us have our own regular habits and routines when it comes to drinking coffee.  For obsessive coffee lovers like us, these are a deeply established part of our day-to-day lives and anyone daring to come between us and the morning fix is taking a considerable risk!

Many people have developed a habit of some kind, which feels like a necessity. Stumbling bleary-eyed into the kitchen, offended by the light of day and obligation to wakefulness, it’s natural to reach for the comforting mental springboard of coffee.  But a scientific theory warns against this instinct.

It is claimed that drinking coffee first thing in the morning actually serves to reduce the energy-boosting effects of caffeine and could even create an increased tolerance of the stimulant.

This is explained by Ryoko Iwata, “a Japanese coffee-lover living in Seattle” on her appropriately titled blog, I Love Coffee. Iwata based her post on research gathered by Steven Miller, a PhD candidate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda.

To experience maximum enjoyment with minimal negative effects, Iwata suggests avoiding times of peak cortisol levels in most people: between 8-9 am, 12-1 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. Timing “coffee breaks” between 9:30-11:30 and 1:30 and 5:00 takes advantage of the dips in your cortisol levels when you most need a boost.

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(Consumption of Jackson Green coffee is probably exempt from this research, because as well as tasting perfect right around the clock, it also works effectively however your cortisol levels happen to be fixed.)

Both of these pieces are absorbing in their own very different ways and well worth a look.  But it’s worth remembering that we 21st Century humans are fickle creatures acting on combinations of routine and habit, impulse and instinct, comfort and What Just Tastes Nice; as much as on what science dictates.  Will such explanations and suggestions and scientific theories really affect how or when we take our coffee?

Unlikely.