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You Should Wait This Long Before Drinking Your Morning Coffee

Having your coffee is a pretty straightforward process but, according to science, there’s a better way to enjoy it and reap stronger results.

Coffee is the ultimate morning ritual. While there are many variables to a positive morning — showers, breakfast, a good night’s sleep — coffee is one that makes it or breaks it for many of us. There’s something special and effective about that first sip of coffee, waking you up and brightening your mood. From an energy perspective, there’s a whole science to how coffee works, including an amount of time you’re meant to wait before you drink it.

The Huffington Post spoke with health experts, who determined that the best time to have your coffee is about an hour after you first wake up. It has a lot to do with cortisol and our production of this hormone first thing in the morning.

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Your body naturally produces cortisol, the stress hormone, when you first wake up. This hormone does much of what coffee does, waking you up and giving you energy to carry on with your day. By waiting a bit to introduce caffeine into your system, you’ll be giving your body some room to experience the caffeine buzz it craves while also preventing the odds of getting jittery.

“There is some science behind isolating caffeine and peak cortisol so they don’t go head to head and have negative compounded effects in the body [like the jitters],” says Tracy Lockwood, dietitian and author. “You basically want the caffeine in the coffee to shine as a solo artist and not be influenced by the strong effects of cortisol.”

Too Much Coffee
Photo by Matthew Henry via Burst

While having your coffee first thing in the morning will provide you with some energy and motivation, it’ll be a briefer and less powerful experience than if you were to wait for the effects of cortisol to stop waking your body up. The fact that coffee has become such an ingrained part of our morning routines might also make the experience more predictable, consistent and even dull for your body.

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There’s no right way to have coffee. What works for one person might not work for another. But if you’re interested in having a different morning experience, looking for a longer caffeine burst, try to delay that first cup of coffee, especially if what you’d like to feel a sustained burst of energy.

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