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When is the best time to drink coffee?

Posted on September 13, 2021

Coffee is the popular pick-me-upper we all know and love. Coffee in the morning and throughout the day, either for sheer pleasure, or for the notorious caffeine buzz.

However, it has been said there are "peak" times to drink coffee, if the caffeine buzz is what you chase. We may have thought that the first cuppa when we arise is the booster cup, but according to, this is when the stress hormone, cortisol, is at its peak; naturally making us more alert and focused without the caffeine.

It is thought that cortisol, the hormone that also regulates our metabolism and immune system, in a sense, then "counters" caffeine's energising effects.

So, when is the best time to drink coffee for its buzz?

It is said that the best time to drink a coffee for that caffeine kick is mid- to late-morning, when cortisol levels are lower. So, for people who wake up around 06:30, the time for a coffee buzz would be between 09:30 and 11:30 in the morning. If you ask me, that is a bit late for the first cup of the day.

Another reason it has been suggested to delay the morning coffee, is because caffeine can increase cortisol levels, when already at its peak. It is said that raised cortisol levels over long periods can impair the immune system.

There is some truth to this science, but no studies have noted any major effects in energy levels when delaying that first cup coffee compared to having it first thing in the morning. If you like to enjoy a coffee at first sight of the sun without caffeine concerns, you could try a decaffe coffee.