When is the best time to drink coffee?

When is the best time to drink coffee?

According to experts, the optimal time to drink coffee is in the mid- to late-morning, between 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., when cortisol levels start to dip. This allows the caffeine to provide an energy boost without overstimulating the system. However, the "best" time may vary based on individual needs and schedules, with some finding an afternoon coffee around 2 p.m. helpful. The amount of coffee consumed and personal caffeine sensitivity also impact the ideal timing. The key is to pay attention to how your body responds and experiment to find the schedule that works best, maximising the benefits of your daily caffeine intake.

How does coffee affect your body? 

  1. Blocks Adenosine Receptors: Adenosine is a molecule that promotes sleepiness by attaching to receptors in the body. Caffeine blocks these adenosine receptors, preventing adenosine from inducing drowsiness and keeping you alert and awake.

  2. Impacts Energy Production: By blocking adenosine, caffeine alters the transport of nutrients through the body, which can enhance energy production and improve cognitive and physical performance.

  3. Suppresses Appetite: Caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant, which may affect appropriate energy intake.

  4. Acts as a Diuretic: Caffeine can have a diuretic effect, leading to water loss through increased urination. This mild dehydration can negatively impact energy levels.

  5. Affects Cortisol Levels: Caffeine can influence the levels of cortisol, a hormone that plays important regulatory roles in the body.

The best time to drink coffee

Having coffee immediately upon waking is not ideal because your body naturally produces higher levels of cortisol in the morning to regulate alertness and wakefulness. Waiting for about 30 to 60 minutes allows your cortisol levels to naturally start decreasing. If you drink coffee too soon after waking up when cortisol levels are already elevated, the stimulating effects of caffeine may be reduced. By delaying your coffee intake until cortisol levels drop, you can potentially enhance the energising and wake-up effects of coffee, making it more effective in boosting your energy levels and overall well-being.

Don’t be disheartened! Here are other times of the day to grab your daily dose of caffeine.


Wait until mid-to-late morning, typically between 9:30 am to 11:30 am. This can be advantageous for coffee consumption as cortisol levels, which are highest upon waking, begin to decline during this time. By aligning your coffee intake with this natural dip in cortisol, usually associated with increased alertness and focus, you can maximise the stimulating effects of caffeine. This timing strategy may help you avoid the potential negative impact of elevated cortisol levels over extended periods, promoting a more balanced and effective energy boost from your morning cup of coffee.


It is generally recommended to avoid consuming caffeinated beverages, including coffee, too close to bedtime due to the potential interference with sleep quality. The stimulating effects of caffeine can make it harder to fall asleep. A common guideline is to avoid caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed, but individuals who are sensitive to caffeine or have trouble sleeping may need to cut off consumption even earlier in the day. This is to ensure that the body has sufficient time to process the caffeine and reduce its impact on sleep.

Pre-workout boost 

Drinking coffee before a workout can provide an energy boost and improve focus and performance, thanks to the caffeine content. The recommended timing is 30 to 60 minutes before the workout, allowing enough time for the caffeine to take effect. However, the optimal time to consume coffee is a personal preference, influenced by factors like sleep schedule, caffeine sensitivity, and daily routine. It's crucial to listen to your body's cues and adjust coffee consumption accordingly to ensure it doesn't negatively impact your sleep or overall well-being. The key is finding the right balance that enhances your workout experience without causing adverse effects.

Benefits of Coffee

Scientific research has highlighted the significant health benefits associated with coffee consumption. Studies have shown that individuals who consume four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, indicating a protective effect against this prevalent condition. 

Moreover, coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic liver diseases and certain cancers, such as hepatocellular carcinoma, with two to three cups daily associated with a decreased risk of liver cancer. In terms of cognitive function, coffee consumption has been associated with improved memory, attention, and a potential reduction in the risk of Alzheimer's disease, suggesting broader benefits beyond just alertness. 

Coffee's positive impact extends to gut health, as it has been found to enhance microbiome diversity, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria through its soluble fibre and prebiotic properties. 

Furthermore, moderate coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, and certain types of cancer like colorectal and postmenopausal breast cancer. 

Overall, these findings underscore the potential of coffee as a valuable component of a healthy lifestyle, offering a range of benefits that extend beyond a simple energy boost.

How much coffee is good for you? 

  • General Population: Consuming up to 400 mg/day of caffeine, equivalent to about 1-4 cups of coffee per day, is considered safe for most adults. This moderate intake level is associated with various health benefits and is generally well-tolerated
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is recommended to limit caffeine intake. Experts suggest consuming no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day during pregnancy to reduce the risk of adverse effects on the baby
  • Children and Adolescents: Due to differences in body weight and metabolism, children and adolescents should limit their caffeine intake. It is advised that children and teenagers consume minimal to no caffeine to avoid potential negative effects on their developing bodies and sleep patterns
  • Individuals with Certain Health Conditions: People with specific health conditions like acid reflux, ulcers, or irritable bowel syndrome may need to limit their coffee consumption due to its acidic nature and potential impact on digestion. Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended to determine the appropriate amount and timing of coffee intake for those with such conditions

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Author Bio
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Author Bio

I'm Laura, the founder and owner of Coffee Collective UK Ltd. My journey began with a simple yet profound love for coffee - I mean, I really love coffee. My day doesn't truly begin until I've savoured my first latte. This passion led me to create Coffee Collective UK Ltd., a place where fellow coffee enthusiasts can find their perfect brew.

At Coffee Collective, I believe that every coffee lover deserves a personalised experience. That's why I partner with a renowned UK roastery to ensure each bean is roasted to perfection and ground to match every customer's unique preference. Whether you like your coffee bold and strong, or smooth and mellow, I've got you covered.

My mission is to share the joy and versatility of this wonderful bean with everyone who walks through our doors. From the first sip of the morning to the last cup of the day, I aim to make every coffee moment special. So, come join me on this delightful journey and discover the magic of coffee crafted just for you.