Ever wonder why sometimes your morning cup of coffee leaves you totally energized while other days it seems like it does absolutely nothing? I certainly have, and it’s driven me crazy. Lucky for us, Steven Miller at Gizmodo researched the science behind your caffeine addiction to find out the prime hours for coffee’s effectiveness in your system.
The most effective time to drink your coffee is between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.!
Miller’s explanation of the reasons behind this is pretty detailed and lengthy, so here’s the short version: the main thing we need to be concerned with in terms of our caffeine fix is chronopharmacology, which is the study of the biological rhythms within our body and how they react. This is an internal 24-hour clock that effects, among other things, how alert we are and when. That natural alert feeling you sometimes get when you’re really on a roll at the office or kicking ass on your run happens when your natural cortisol levels are high, which are dictated by a circadian rhythm.
That cortisol level peaks, on average, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for most people. It also happens from 12pm to 1pm and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You don’t want to drink coffee during those timeframes, because it just isn’t going to be a match for the natural alert feeling you’re already experiencing. All it will do is increase your tolerance so the coffee is even less effective, and probably make you more groggy and frustrated. Your best bet is in the crash period between these energy bursts.
The TL;dr: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. are your prime Starbucks hours. Then, of course, there are those of us who believe that any time of day is the right time for coffee. Either way, happy caffeinating!
[Image of mug of coffee via Shutterstock]