You wake up, pee, and sleep walk to your coffee maker. Typically this is the routine of most adults getting up for work. We always run right to the coffee first thing, but why are we still tired throughout the morning?
Alright we could give dramatic answers like: You need to sleep more or your diet needs to change, but that’s an extreme makeover.
Science is showing that we may drink our coffee to early in the day, which could cause you to stay sluggish.
The best times to caffeinate, say the experts, have to do with cortisol levels (cortisol being the hormone that makes us feel alert and awake). Drinking coffee when cortisol levels are already naturally high encourages the body to produce excess cortisol, which increases your tolerance for caffeine and generates stress (elevated levels of cortisol promote anxiety).
When your cortisol levels are low, this is the best time to drink caffeine because it has the most effect to your energy and mood.
For the average person, cortisol levels peak at these three times:
- Between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
- Between noon and 1 p.m.
- Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Another variable is how much caffeine should you consume during your peak hours, since it depends on your personal tolerance for caffeine.
The U.S. Army recently commissioned a study to develop an algorithm that provides users with the exact amount of caffeine they should consume (and when) for peak alertness. The algorithm works by accounting for your personal sleep schedule and administering several response time tests—more formally known as psychomotor vigilance tasks—to figure out how much caffeine your body requires to maximize alertness. While that technology is still largely in the works, a limited version is available as the 2B-Alert mobile app.
Yeah that’s pretty intense, but heck we are all crazy over coffee. Check out the algorithm and see what your optimal intake would be and try to find your optimal times to consume.
A good way to wake up without coffee:
- Drink a lot of water
- An Apple or Banana
- Cold Shower
If you can make it until the optimal times, trust me its going to be worth it. Also, you will cut down on your caffeine intake, typically you drink when you wake up and then during the morning break. This can help you with your tolerance to caffeine, which will help greatly!