The Best Time to Drink Coffee Isn't When You Typically Have a Cup

While the first thing on your mind when you wake up is probably, "I need to drink coffee ASAP," scientists have discovered that there are specific times during the day when drinking coffee with give you the biggest caffeine boost. And they've discovered that drinking coffee first thing in the morning is actually counter-productive for waking you up.

According to researchers, the best time to drink a cup of your morning elixir is actually one hour after waking up. The reason for this is because your body's production of cortisol (a hormone your body produces) has just passed it's highest peak. If you think the cortisol hormone sounds familiar, it's probably because it's also been called the stress hormone. Mainly secreted during tensive or stressful events, the cortisol acts as an alertness hormone to wake you up when your body has to go into a fight-or-flight situation.

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The reason why you want to wait for your body to reach the peak of cortisol production is to essentially take advantage of your body's natural "caffeine" and then drink coffee to keep that feeling up.

In fact, Ryoko Iwata, a Seattle-based coffee blogger created this chart to help coffee drinkers time their caffeine intake to concede perfectly with your natural cortisol levels.

I Love Coffee

There's really two times a day you should be consuming coffee (and caffeinated beverages as well) and that's about one hour after waking up and about 8 hours before you usually go to bed. Coincidently the second coffee time of the day takes place during a normal coffee break time in the early afternoon right after lunch.

Looking for some coffee inspiration? Check out some of our favorites to drink as your morning coffee or even as a caffeine kick in the afternoon.

1. Salted Caramel Coffee Creamer

drink coffee
Wide Open Eats

Sweet with a hint of salt, this coffee tastes great either hot or cold.

Get the recipe here. 

2. Homemade Mocha Coffee Creamer

Wide Open Eats

There's nothing as simple and satisfying as a cup of mocha coffee. Chocolate and coffee combine in a match practically made in heaven.

Find the recipe here. 

3. Sparkling Iced Coffee

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Wide Open Eats

Add a bit of fizz to your daily dose of caffiene by mixing coffee concentrate with sparkling water. It's an experience you won't want to miss.

Find the recipe here. 

Watch: Our 5 Favorite Starbucks Secret Menu Frappuccinos