Coffee is the energizing drink par excellence because it supplies us with a natural boost, and is usually the first remedy we turn to when we feel tired or find it hard to concentrate.
We are well aware that, precisely for this reason, consuming caffeine is not recommended after dinner if we don’t want to have sleepless nights.
So, do you know when is the best time of day to drink coffee and benefit from its energizing qualities?
Although research has already been carried out by the University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland (USA) dedicated specifically to this topic, we have also asked the opinion of the dietician, Francesco Arcidiacono who has kindly given us some helpful advice about the properties of this drink.
When to drink coffee? Data from the US research study
The researcher Steven Miller from the University of Health Sciences in Bethesda carried out some research a few years ago to understand what was the ideal time of day to consume coffee so as to get the best benefits from it.
The results, illustrated in a post on his blog, soon spread around the world, welcomed by all coffee enthusiasts with great joy.
Let’s see what this American researcher has to say.
The best possible time to drink coffee and get the maximum energizing benefits from it is between 9.30 and 11.30 in the morning.
Not as soon as we get up in the morning, as many people believe, but half way through the morning when, physiologically, the cortisol levels in our bodies start to fall.
This hormone, which activates our alert system and keeps us awake naturally, reaches its peak between 8 and 9 in the morning, more or less in line with when the light appears.
At this time we are already naturally awake, so coffee doesn’t provide us with an extra boost of energy.
The mid-morning “coffee break” is, thus, the perfect habit to adopt to provide our bodies with the maximum levels of concentration and performance until after lunch, between 1 and 2 p.m., when there is a second natural peak of cortisol.
This is why, according to Miller, even drinking coffee straight after lunch is not recommended: it would be much better to wait until 2.30 or 3 p.m. in order to have the most active and productive afternoon.
The effects of coffee on sports and non-sports activities…
Doctor Arcidiacono explains that there is evidence in favor of sports people drinking coffee: “in this case – he says – I would advise drinking coffee without sugar before a training session.
The caffeine acts as a vasodilator and increases both your blood pressure and your metabolism slightly, improving your performance.”
This same characteristic of caffeine explains another precious property of coffee: “as a vasodilator, sometimes a coffee is very useful in combatting headaches.
While it has been demonstrated by some recent studies that coffee, overall, has a protective action on the liver.
A characteristic that could lead to the declaration that coffee is good for you, if not consumed in excessive amounts”.
Coffee is good for you, but don’t overdo it
Arcidiacono, points out that, in fact, healthy individuals can consume up to 4 coffees a day, “the equivalent of around 400 mg of caffeine in total, calculated on a man of average build and in good health.
On the other hand, coffee is not recommended for anyone suffering from hypertension, gastric disturbances, intestinal inflammation and, obviously, insomnia…” In general, the dietician suggests having your last coffee of the day in the early afternoon, so that in the evening there is no longer caffeine circulating in your system.
But is there also an ideal moment for drinking coffee?
“In my view – says the doctor – the best time for drinking coffee is subjective.
In any case, it is important to remember that the energizing effect of coffee works very rapidly and so it is perfect for those who need a concentration of energy.
From this point of view, tea is quite different since the release of energy is gradual and more evenly distributed over time.”
So, both coffee and tea are excellent energizing drinks, capable of sustaining us in our daily activities, especially when we are feeling a little tired.
It is important, however, to know the differences and pay attention to what time we drink them, so that we don’t overdo it.
In your experience, is there an ideal moment for drinking coffee? Tell us about it in the comments!