Coffee drinking is so ingrained into our culture that most people cannot function without their daily cup of coffee in the morning, be it a cup of cold brew coffee or a straight solid espresso shot. 9 out of 10 older coffee drinkers consider coffee an important part of their breakfast, with many people drinking coffee to stay awake or improve their alertness throughout the day.
But did you know that a wrong coffee schedule may be counterproductive for some? This all boils down to human biology and how caffeine works. If you’re curious about the best time to drink coffee, you’re in luck because we’ve compiled some of the most relevant information you would need to adjust your schedules.
Here’s Why Morning Isn’t the Best Time for Coffee
Even if coffee is typically drunk as a breakfast beverage, the morning isn’t the best time to drink coffee. This is all thanks to cortisol, a hormone that works as an alarm system and directly affects your mood and alertness. Like stress, caffeine also stimulates cortisol production, directly affecting blood pressure, memory, and wakefulness. Unfortunately, morning is also when your cortisol levels peak, meaning you don’t need coffee for the boost yet.
Another reason you should push back drinking coffee later in the day is that it can push caffeine tolerance when your body gets accustomed to the automatic energy boost upon waking up. When you drink coffee in the morning, you usually notice the effects after a few minutes, giving you enough energy up to about noon or early afternoon. However, energy dips may happen after the effects wear off, causing you to feel exhausted. This might make you reach for another cup and another cup.
While coffee is a delightful beverage, the effects of caffeine will eventually decrease over time. This pushes caffeine tolerance, causing you to be more and more dependent on its energy boost.
When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?
When should you bust out your coffee maker if morning coffee isn’t recommended? According to Lisa Lisiewski, a certified dietitian-nutritionist, the best time to drink coffee is when your cortisol levels start to dip after the initial peak upon waking up. This varies from person to person, but the average office worker with the usual 9-to-5 work scheme comes in at about mid-morning or 9:00 a.m. to noon. In some cases, drinking coffee may also be beneficial in the early afternoon for that much-needed energy boost towards the end of the day.
For exercise buffs or fitness enthusiasts, another great time to drink coffee is 45 to 60 minutes before you start your workout regimen. The energy boost will help support your workout performance and may even help you get more sets done.
Here’s How to Change Your Coffee Schedule
Don’t rush into this schedule change if you’ve been accustomed to drinking coffee upon waking up or during breakfast. While this later time is considered the best time to drink coffee, the sudden change may make it hard to adjust since you’ll also be recalibrating your cortisol levels. Go for a gradual change. You can change your schedule for a few days first and slowly transition into later coffee drinking.
If you find yourself dizzy or yawning up a storm without a cup of coffee, consider adjusting your sleep schedule so you can rest better. Get about seven to eight hours of sleep to have enough energy to jumpstart your day without your usual early-morning coffee routine.
Are Late-Night Coffee Runs Advisable?
Another question that may arise when discussing coffee drinking is, “Is it okay to drink coffee at night, either during dinner or after as a sort of dessert?” With coffee’s highly stimulating effects, nighttime may not be the best time to drink coffee, especially if you plan to get the complete hours before waking up again. And no, it doesn’t matter whether you’re drinking single-origin coffee from the Philippines or kopi luwak. You’re still going to get the stimulating effects of their caffeine content. Nighttime coffee runs may also significantly lower your sleep quality, triggering insomnia and making you much more tired in the morning.
Consider switching to caffeine-free teas like chamomile, peppermint, and hibiscus as a substitute for your late-night coffee runs. Not only will these fill up your beverage slot instead of coffee, but they can also help you relax better and achieve a level of calmness before you go to sleep.
7 Coffee Alternatives You Can Try Out
For some people, excessive coffee drinking may cause a certain degree of jitteriness or anxiousness, which may be counterproductive, especially for people trying to focus on a task. Fortunately, there are a handful of coffee alternatives that you can try out that may help you stay awake without the coffee side effects. You can try adding them to the beverages you drink throughout the day or swapping your coffee drink out with any of these at random times during the week. Here’s a list of teas and juices to boost your energy.
- Green Tea
Produced from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, green tea is a popular beverage thanks to its impressive antioxidant levels and the countless health benefits it has to offer. In addition to these, green tea is also a great pick-me-up beverage thanks to its caffeine content, but at a lower range compared to coffee. If you plan to lower your caffeine intake, you can steep green tea in room-temperature water to reduce the caffeine content.
- Matcha Tea
Matcha tea is also a product from the Camellia sinensis plant but is taken from specially grown plants. Finely ground into the distinct bright green powder, matcha can be enjoyed in various ways, such as in desserts and in hot and cold teas. Matcha tea contains considerable caffeine, which may help you stay awake throughout the day and provide you with a much-needed energy boost in the morning.
- Yerba Mate Tea
A popular South American drink, yerba mate is an herbal tea traditionally drank in a gourd with a distinct metal straw and built-in filter. This tea is rich in antioxidants and bioactive nutrients that can help improve your immunity and overall health. But as a coffee alternative, yerba mate contains the middle-ground caffeine content of green tea and coffee, giving you just the right amount for a jumpstart.
Kombucha is a fermented and effervescent tea drink that has recently taken the world by storm thanks to its enjoyable and unique flavor and health benefits. As an energy booster, kombucha is a great coffee alternative thanks to its balanced caffeine content, which may help you stay awake but with a lower chance of getting coffee side effects.
- Chicory Root
Chicory root is an herbal drink with a flavor and consistency similar to coffee, making it a great coffee substitute if you’re trying to lower your caffeine intake. Produced by roasting the roots of the chicory plant, this herbal drink can be brewed like coffee and drunk as your breakfast beverage.
- Golden Milk
Made with nondairy milk and turmeric, golden milk is considered a traditional drink in India, famous for its positive effects on memory, mood, and digestion. Even better, golden milk is extremely easy to make since you only need to combine the ingredients in a pot and simmer it for about 10 minutes.
The Best Time of Coffee Isn’t All the Time!
We all know how comforting it is to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. And with its irresistible aroma and warmth, we can’t blame you if you start craving it right after you open your eyes. However, for better productivity and better coffee utilization, it might be high time to optimize our schedules to coincide with the best time for coffee drinking.
And we know here at CoffeeBeans.ph, this might be a bit challenging – if not highly – in the first few days or weeks, but it’s probably for the better. This might even heighten your enjoyment of coffee and motivate you to put more effort into brewing your first cup. So, if you want to upgrade your daily cup of coffee to a much more potent brew or take on a specialty brewing method, don’t look too far. CoffeeBeans.ph has a wide variety of single-origin coffee beans from the Philippines and specialty coffee makers that we can ship to your door in record time.