Whether you're a regular who knows your barista by name or you can't pass one of the big chain coffee shops without stopping for a quick caffeine fix, there's no doubting that there are a lot of people out there who can't go without at least one cup of coffee a day.
Frankly, we're one of them, and most of the time we've got a cup of Joe in our hands first thing in the morning as part of our breakfast, but when is the scientifically formulated optimum time to get your hit from the sweet, sweet live-giving super bean juice?
The folks at the Gastropodcast decided to try and find out the secret to the having the best breakfast, in an episode fittingly entitled 'Breakfast of Champions'. The full episode is below, if you want to get some knowledge on what breakfast is like around the world, as well as why fruit juice isn't so great for you first thing in the morning, but they also discovered an important fact about coffee.
In the course of their research, they spoke with PhD student Steven Miller, an expert in chronopharmacology (how the brain responds to drugs), who said that having a cup of coffee as soon as you can manage to get yourself out of bed and to the kettle to boil up the water is not the best time, at least from your body's standpoint.
According to Miller, the level of cortisol in your body (the hormone that controls stress levels) is at it's highest between 8am-9am, meaning that your body does not need a pick me up at that point in the day as you're already pretty alert. Having it at that time could result in desensitisation, meaning that you need more of the drug to get the same effects from it.
The best time to have your first cup of coffee of the day is in fact between 9.30 and 11.30 am, if you happen to be working on a regular 9-5 schedule, as your cortisol levels start to drop off fairly dramatically around then. If you're working shifts or have different sleep patterns, then you'd need to adjust for your own schedule, but if you're the type of person who keeps an emergency coffee making kit in your bedside table, then maybe it's time to change things up a bit.