The Coffee Break: When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?


Whether you’re getting ready for work or just need your daily caffeine supply, drinking a cup of coffee in the morning is an essential part of many people’s daily routines. But did you know that drinking too early in the morning might cause serious health problems in your body?

According to a study, our body produces cortisol, a stress hormone, upon waking up. Production peaks about 30 minutes after waking up, where it works to keep you alert and focused, regulates your metabolism, immune system response, and blood pressure. However, the caffeine in coffee boosts your cortisol levels farther than what our body actually needs, potentially increasing its possible harmful effects. Elevated cortisol levels over long periods can impair your immune system and make you vulnerable to some diseases.

The best time to drink coffee is from the mid-to-late morning when the hormone levels have dipped to their normal rate. Give at least 3 hours after you wake up before you drink your first cup of coffee for the day. If you’re able to change up your morning coffee ritual, you may start to realize that delaying it for a few hours may give you a longer-lasting energy boost.

At Night

If you’re someone who drinks coffee before bedtime, there are the things that you should remember. In a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the stimulating effects of caffeine from coffee can last 3–5 hours, depending on the person. There are instances where its effects can last in your body for more than five hours. 

Depending on what time you intend to hit the hay, drinking coffee may not be the greatest idea right before you sleep. To avoid messing up your sleep pattern, a study in 2013 mentioned that you would need to avoid caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed. Try drinking decaf or tea instead.

During Workout

People who exercise regularly can get a few pumps of help from coffee and supplement their workouts with it. Drinking coffee before a workout might be an effective way to get that extra “pump” needed. In effect, caffeine delays exercise fatigue and can improve muscle strength and power.  For an enhanced result, drink coffee 30–60 minutes before your workout routine.

When Losing Weight

One of the benefits of drinking coffee is that it can reduce a person’s body mass index, body weight, and body fat. There is still limited research on this fact, but drinking coffee on or before a meal has been shown to have the biggest impact on weight loss. It’s likely that coffee cuts down on your urges to snack in between meals, but more research is needed to show that coffee is an appetite suppressant.

Before an Exam

Many university students frequent coffee shops to review for their upcoming exams. Consuming coffee before a morning exam is beneficial; the same goes for drinking it before an afternoon exam.

However, drinking coffee right before going into the examination room could leave you feeling anxious, give you headaches, or end up clouding your memory. If you really want to ace your upcoming exams, here’s a tip from a Department of Defense study: it is still important to get full rest from the night before, but make sure to take 200mg of caffeine upon waking up and another 200mg after. This simple trick should get you going for the day and help you ace your exams.


Indeed, coffee has become our partner in getting through our day. Most of us have become dependent on it to the point where we can’t wake up in the morning without it. The best time is the time when you need it the most. However, keep in mind that you should drink it in moderation and at the right moments. 

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