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Drink Coffee Between 9:30 a.m. And 11:30 a.m., Not Earlier

We've been doing it all wrong!
PHOTO: Getty

If your job involves you pretending to be a functioning adult five days a week, you probably rely on an early morning hit of caffeine to help you feel human.

Sadly, it turns out, we've been doing coffee all wrong. Research by a PhD student at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda has shown that first thing in the morning is the least effective time to have a cup of joe.


The science behind this is because the stress-hormone called cortisol is released between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. The "stress" helps us get up and seize the day, but if you add the stimulation of coffee when cortisol is already active, the effect is lessened.

The bad news doesn't end there: drinking coffee at this time also means we build up a tolerance for caffeine and its effects on us diminish over time.

So when should we be sipping on the good stuff? The study suggests between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, and between 1:30 pm and 5:00 pm. This is when your cortisol levels drop and the coffee is most effective, though if you're a lightweight when it comes to the arabica beans, do take it easy.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.