Science has figured out the right times to drink coffee, and it’s not always intuitive. Do you reach for a cup as soon as your eyelids open? Well that’s doing it at the wrong time. According to science, you don’t actually need coffee until 10 am.
Human bodies are governed by a 24 hour cycle called the circadian clock in which we experience periodic dips in alertness – the first one being at 10 am. So, if you can wait until 10 am for your first cup, your body will be most conducive to a caffeine jolt.
The second dip in alertness happens around 1pm. You could consume your second cup of coffee to pep up or you could do something even smarter. Try having a cup of coffee coupled with a short nap. As caffeine takes about 20 to 30 minutes to have effect, it will kick in just as you wake up. Yes, coffee naps are a thing now.
Coffee can also boost your memory, but this depends on when you drink it. You have to drink coffee straight after a learning event, not before. Keep this in mind next time you have to learn something important.
Want a boost to your exercise performance? Drink a cup of coffee one hour before you start and, as caffeine turns our fat into fuel, you’ll be able to run further and faster. You’ll also be more motivated to run, as caffeine releases the brain’s endorphins.
Although many of us drink coffee to increase our productivity at work, there’s no evidence that coffee enhances creativity or the quality of work. Luckily just working from a coffee shop might. Research suggests that moderate noise level in a coffee shop enhances our performance on creative tasks.
Coffee has some really great health benefits, including a lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, many of us undermine these benefits by drinking our coffee with artificial sweeteners and flavors. Yuck.
If you don’t like your coffee black, consider adding plant-based ‘milk’ (almond, hemp or coconut) or natural flavors like cinnamon, cocoa or nutmeg.