A Guide To Productivity: The Best Time To Drink Coffee
Do you simply “rise and shine,” or are you like most of us? – You rise, get your coffee fix, and start to shine as the caffeine hits your brain. For the majority of hard-working Americans, you depend on a good cup of coffee to start a productive day.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee on a daily basis, at an average of 28 ounces per day. Clearly, we need our coffee to get through the day, but if your goal is to remain alert and productive from 9 to 5, is the start of your day the best time for your first cup?
What Does Research Tell Us?
Data accumulated by the aforementioned college in Cambridge, MA found that 65% of Americans drink their coffee at breakfast. Though not a surprising revelation, additional research suggests that, surprisingly, drinking coffee so early may not be the optimal time for your first cup.
Assuming you’re a healthy sleeper, you’re actually more alert when you first wake up than you will be an hour later. When you first rise from a night’s sleep, your melatonin (which promotes sleepiness) and adenosine (which suppresses arousal) levels are at their lowest, whilehypocretin (the neuropeptide that promote vigilance) is at its highest levels.
“Shortly after waking is probably one of the high points of the day. It is the time when…you would be at the lowest point at the sleepiness spectrum,” says Dr. W. Christopher Winter, a sleep medicine expert at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine in Virginia.
Because our hormone balances promote alertness when we first awaken, we don’t need a coffee boost.
So When Do I Have My Cup Of Coffee?
It takes caffeine roughly two hours to have its maximum impact on your body. Thus, to put coffee to best use and help you remain productive when you may otherwise fall into a lull, you’re better off drinking your cup by midmorning and taking advantage of your office’s coffee service.
According to Dr. Joe Ojile, founder and CEO of Clayton Sleep Institute in St. Louis, you experience a natural dip in wakefulness during the later morning hours. If you’ve had your coffee first thing, your caffeine levels will decline in parallel with your brain’s attentiveness – doubling down on your “crash.”
A later cup of coffee however will allow caffeine to build up in your body and reach full force when you’d otherwise start to lose your alertness.
Why Not Two Cups Of Coffee?
Of course, you may ask, “Why not drink a cup of coffee first thing and a second, midmorning coffee?”
But, as with all caffeine consumption, the more you drink, the more your body becomes accustomed to the high levels of the drug in your body. In time, your body will stop responding to the original amount of coffee and require more to have the same effect for you.
Translation: the less coffee you consume, the better it works to keep you alert and productive.
If you’re a coffee lover who drinks it for its taste as much as the caffeine, make one of your cups a decaf. Otherwise, take the advice of Madelyn Fernstrom, a health and nutrition editor for NBC News: Limit your caffeine consumption to 300 mg a day or less, and consume it in one sitting, two hours before you expect to be most tired (or when you need to be most awake).
At the end of the day, it’s about quality! Since you only “suppose” to have a few cups a day, why not make it the best coffee you can find? Our office coffee services and retail coffee services provide the freshest, locally roasted coffee on the east coast. Click the link below to get a free quote on coffee service.