What's the Best Time to Drink Coffee? Scientists Have the Answer, and You're Probably Doing it Wrong

When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately brew yourself a cup of coffee or make Starbucks your first stop on the way to work, because you just have to have your caffeine the second you wake up? If so, I hate to break it to you, but you might be doing it wrong — scientists have pinpointed the best time of day to drink coffee, and there's a good chance it's not when you're drinking it. This news just might mess up your entire morning commute, and if it does, I apologize in advance. But, "the more you know," right?

The smart minds over at AsapSCIENCE — not a division of A$AP Mob (I checked)—looked at different research that charts our bodies' biological rhythms throughout the day. Specifically, they looked at our bodies' production of cortisol (you may know it as the stress hormone, but it also plays a part in waking you up) during different times of the day. They found a spike in cortisol production between 8 and 9 a.m., which means that your body is naturally taking steps to wake your sleepy self up. And while you might be thinking that drinking coffee at that time would just boost your energy, you'd be wrong—scientists have found that drinking caffeine at this time just reduces its effect and makes you build up a higher tolerance.

Yep. So what do they suggest? Drinking coffee after your cortisol peaks, starting at 9 a.m. But they even went a step further and looked at the other times during the day where your cortisol surges to help you decide when to have that afternoon pick-me-up. Aside from 8-9 a.m., your cortisol production increases between 12 and 1 p.m., as well as between 5:30-6:30 p.m., so you should drink coffee outside of those times. Or if you're a more visual learner:

But what about if you don't have a normal 9-to-5 job? What if you go to work really early, or you work the night shift? What then, huh? Well, AsapSCIENCE tackled those questions, too. For those answers, and for better explanations of the science behind all this than I was able to provide (and cute cartoons), you should watch the full video below.

AsapSCIENCE on YouTube

It looks like I'll be helping myself to the gross free coffee at work, rather than making myself a cup of java for the road. Sigh.

Images: AsapSCIENCE / Youtube; Giphy