Many coffee drinkers roll out of bed and get their daily dose of java as soon as possible. Because of the way coffee affects our bodies, though, there may be more ideal times to drink it.
Neuroscience PhD student Steven Miller explains that in the mornings (between the hours of 8 am and 9 am) our cortisol levels are at their highest. Cortisol isn’t just the “stress hormone“—it’s also correlated with our alertness levels.
So if we drink coffee at the same time our alertness is already at its peak, we’re wasting the potential alertness boost we get from the caffeine.
The most effective time to have a cup of joe, Miller says, is between 9:30 am and 11:30 am. (Between noon and 1 pm and between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm are other times cortisol levels rise, so you might want to avoid drinking coffee during those hours.)P