If you’re a coffee lover, you probably reach for your first cup soon after you wake up. Many of us can’t even get to the office without having that caffeine fix first thing in the morning. Around 63% of us regularly enjoy a cup of coffee 2 -3 times per day – that’s about 98 million cups of coffee we Brits drink every day.
However, recent research suggests that we should switch up our coffee habits to get several health benefits. In fact, scientists are suggesting we wait until mid-morning to enjoy our first cup of coffee. We take a look at why this is recommended.
What do the experts say?
Firstly, experts from the University of Bath recommend enjoying breakfast before drinking your morning coffee to line the stomach. Their study reported that drinking coffee upon waking may have a significant effect on the body’s blood sugar and metabolic control. When these functions are impaired, it can cause a risk factor for complications like diabetes.
Coffee also may cause our bodies to go into a stress response and raise our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that puts the body into a fight or flight state so it can be a trigger for anxiety. Lining the stomach will reduce the intensity of this reaction.
If you skip breakfast, you can wait a couple of hours after you’ve woken up to enjoy your coffee. Cortisol is high when we wake up so by waiting, you give yourself time for your body’s cortisol levels to come down.
Other reports suggest that we should drink water before coffee in the morning. It’s thought that our bodies can become dehydrated whilst we sleep overnight. A quick glass of water poured at room temperature quickly hydrates us better than a coffee would.
If you experience a caffeine crash after drinking coffee, it’s also recommended that you drink water straight after, or even during your coffee to help avoid that slump in energy. This effect is caused by theobromine which is a chemical in caffeine that starts working about half an hour after you drink coffee.
After 3 pm
A lot of people believe you should never drink coffee late afternoon or in the evening. Caffeine can disrupt sleep up to six hours after consuming it.
So if you want to start winding down and going to bed at say, 10 p.m. drinking coffee after 3 p.m. is a bad idea. Some health experts even recommend people stop drinking coffee as early as 2 p.m. to help prevent insomnia. Of course, switching to decaf coffee will help if you struggle to get off to sleep or switch to a herbal or fruit caffeine-free tea.
When should I drink coffee?
Overall, coffee is a healthy drink to include in your diet but the jury is out on when best to drink it. It does, however, contain small levels of vital vitamins and minerals, which add up if you drink 2 -3 cups per day. It’s also high in antioxidants.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in old age. It can also help to protect from Type 2 diabetes and various liver conditions such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and chronic liver disease. In one report, it even stated that coffee drinkers may live longer than non-coffee drinkers. Not bad for a delicious hot beverage!
Ultimately though it’s up to you when you decide to drink your coffee. If you’re someone who suffers from digestive issues, insomnia or anxiety, you’ll likely want to limit your intake, switch to decaff or remove coffee entirely. Like anything – enjoy in moderation. Experts recommended not to exceed over 3 to 5 cups daily, or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine.
However, for those of us who can’t bare to live without coffee, listen to your body so you can intuitively understand when is the best time to drink it for you. The effects of coffee will vary from person to person depending on things like age, weight, health and just personal preference. As a team of coffee lovers here at FreshGround, we’ll still be enjoying our coffee anytime, anywhere.
Get in touch
If you’re thinking of upgrading your office coffee experience, you may want to get a bean-to-cup coffee machine. Enjoy barista-style coffee at work and reward your team with the great coffee they deserve. If you’re interested in an office coffee machine, simply get in touch with our team on 020 7553 7900.