This is not a drill.

If you’re like us, you need that morning cup of joe. You couldn’t get through the day without it. But if you’re guzzling coffee between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m., you’re not optimizing the benefits of caffeine on your brain.

According to AsapSCIENCE, that sweet spot between 8 and 9 is when your cortisol levels naturally peak—in other words, your body is already perking you up. Drinking coffee then won’t make you more alert. It’s actually counterproductive, since the caffeine will feel less effective and you’ll end up needing more and more of it in the long run. (Remember, caffeine is a drug and you build up tolerance to it over time.)

Your best bet is to time coffee intake for dips in cortisol production, working with your biological clock. Fuel up after 9 a.m. and again (if you need an afternoon boost) between 1 and 5:30 p.m. And no matter how early or late you get up, wait at least an hour before caffeinating—cortisol spikes immediately after waking.

[H/T Science of Us]

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a map of future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  2. photo: an Uber driver.
    Perspective

    Did Uber Just Enable Discrimination by Destination?

    In California, the ride-hailing company is changing a policy used as a safeguard against driver discrimination against low-income and minority riders.

  3. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  4. photo: Robert Marbut, the incoming director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness,
    Equity

    The Consultant Leading the White House Push Against Homelessness

    In Texas and Florida, Robert Marbut Jr. sold cities on a controversial model for providing homeless services. Now he’s bringing it to the White House.

  5. photo: a Tower Records Japan Inc. store in Tokyo, Japan.
    Life

    The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan

    Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

×