Coffee Intake Guide: When, Why And How Much?

By on September 13, 2017

By Rudy Caretti—

Is coffee the first thing you drink when you wake up? You are not alone. Coffee is loved by numerous people around the world. Some say they can’t even start their day without a sip of their favorite drink. The sweet aroma, alluring taste, the burst of energy and numerous health benefits associated with coffee are captivating. But, is early morning the best time for coffee intake?

Early morning isn’t the best time for coffee intake. Here is why:

According to a study finding by Steven Miller, a Ph.D. researcher at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, drinking coffee early in the morning is counterproductive. It cripples caffeine’s energy boosting ability. It can also be associated with high tolerance to caffeine. This means, if you drink coffee early in the morning for long, it will come a time when your regular amount doesn’t stimulate alertness anymore. So, when is the best time?

The best time for coffee intake is between 9:30 and 11:30 am or 1:30 and 5:00 pm.

In the mentioned report, Steven Miller explains further that the human body contains numerous biological clocks that control different processes in it. One of the main biological clocks is known as the circadian clock. It is a 24-hour hormonal cycle that influences bodily processes and behavior in various ways. The circadian clock can also alter how drugs function in the body. It can affect a drug’s efficacy, safety, and body’s tolerance. It also regulates the release of cortisol, the hormone responsible for keeping one awake and alert. 

Since the circadian clock is largely controlled by natural sunlight, cortisol production is at its climax between 8:00 and 9:00 am. During this time, caffeine isn’t useful in your body. This is because the body is already hitting its highest levels of alertness naturally. There are also other times of the day when blood levels are high and one is naturally alert. These include 12.00-1:00 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. 

This leaves us with 9:30 to 11:30 am as the best time during the morning to enjoy coffee. This is when cortisol levels in the body are dipping and a caffeine boost would be welcome. The other reasonable time a caffeine boost would be helpful is between 1:30 and 5:00 pm.

How much coffee should one take? 

Coffee is packed with numerous health benefits. However, there are some negative effects associated with excess intake. According to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it is safe for a healthy adult to down up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day. This is an equivalent of 4 cups of coffee brew a day. 

Even though some people can handle 4 cups a day, there are other factors that can determine how each person reacts to coffee. Genetics, age, body mass, health condition and some medications could influence how different people respond to caffeine stimulant. For this reason, a sick person, pregnant women, children, and adolescents should limit their coffee consumption. If you fall under the mentioned group, you may want to seek medical advice on the recommended amount of coffee for you.

Fortunately, coffee doesn’t have permanent side effects. Excess consumption might make you feel jittery, irritable, and restless. However, the effects will disappear after digestion and absorption. Other effects of high consumption of coffee are insomnia, stomach upset, fast heart rate and muscle tremors. If you are not used to caffeine, you may consider experimenting with a low amount of coffee to avoid these uncomfortable effects. 

Conclusion

Coffee has numerous benefits. It gives you a burst of energy, increases mental sharpness, can boost athletic performance, and keeps a myriad of lifestyle diseases at bay. Nevertheless, you should drink your cup of Joe at the right time and in the right amount to enjoy its health benefits.

Rudy Caretti has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and led him to found Gimoka Coffee UK with a group of friends.

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Coffee Intake Guide: When, Why And How Much?