New Delhi, October 13, 2017 : Every morning as you are jostled out of sleep by your alarm, do you unconsciously crave for coffee? ‘Caffeine is just what I need to wake my body and begin my day with rising energy levels, so why not?’ you ask yourself.
Coffee is rich in caffeine which is known to wake your body and boost energy levels. But how does this happen?
How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?
Caffeine is known to block adenosine receptors in the brain.
— Asker Jeukendrup (@Jeukendrup) October 9, 2017
For easier understanding, adenosine is a nervous system depressant that transmits signals to our mind that the body is tired and needs rest, and has a slowing, calming effect on the brain.
When caffeine obstructs the production of adenosine, the brain interprets it as an ‘active period’ of the body and begins secreting adrenaline. This is characterized by the several effects of caffeine on the body that include increase in body temperature, blood pressure, sugar levels and an increase in heart rate.
Additionally, the body also begins to produce dopamine in such a situation, the hormone responsible for mood elevation.
All these factors together work to prevent the body from falling asleep.
Coffee is your savior. And you are doing everything right –you are having rich, steaming coffee, completely devoid of sugar, milk or creamer (because that is the best way to have coffee for health; you had read so in the weekly health magazine). But did you ever wonder if you are having coffee when you should be? When is the best time to drink coffee?
What, the practice is time conscious!?!
Yes, according to experts, there is a defined best time to drink coffee. And turns out we have all been unaware about it, which is why we have not been availing maximum benefits of the caffeine-rich drink.
A common behavior is to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning in order to wake your body up. However, our body produces the largest amount of a hormone called cortisol immediately after we wake up, which is responsible for making us feel awake and alert.
Cortisol is known to increase the effect of caffeine in the body. While no two people can be the same, cortisol levels typically are the highest when you wake up. Additionally, the body is known to release cortisol between 8-9 am, 12-1 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. This means, your body might be ‘naturally caffeinated’ at the time when you are usually having your first cup of coffee.
A cuppa in the given hours will not be the best time to drink coffee. Still wondering why?
Consuming coffee in the given hours will dilute the effects of the caffeine, as cortisol will already be working to wake the system up. This will eventually lead to the tolerance to caffeine in your body and you will hence be forced to have more and more quantities of coffee to wake you up, which is in turn an unhealthy practice.
Cortisol, commonly known to many as the stress hormone, is associated with anxiety, fear and fatigue. Thus, doubling the cortisol levels with a cup of coffee will make you anxious and stressed. We are sure that is not how you want to feel like.
When Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee?
Experts suggest that you should have coffee when the body is producing low levels of cortisol – about three to four hours after waking up.
In an interview with CNBC, Certified dietitian and nutritionist Lisa Lisiewski suggested that the best time to drink coffee might be around mid-morning or early afternoon. “That’s when your cortisol levels are at their lowest and you actually benefit from the stimulant itself”, she said.