*This* is the best time of day to drink coffee, according to science

If you're doing it first thing, you're doing it wrong.

Do you like to get your coffee first thing in the morning? Well, according to science you might want to hold off on that brew for a couple of hours if you want to get the full benefits from your favourite cup of joe.

Over at Inc., Geoffrey James explains that timing your coffee right is all about the stress hormone, cortisol.

He suggests holding off on your first coffee until between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning when cortisol levels are low, and the caffeine can help smooth out mood and boost energy.

Cortisol levels peak periodically throughout the day, depending on when you wake up. Generally speaking, for someone who gets up at 6:30 am, cortisol levels tend to be high between 8 to 9 a.m, noon to 1 p.m, and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This means smashing a coffee first thing, as your cortisol is rising toward that 8 am peak, makes you more likely to feel jittery and anxious. After 9 a.m, as cortisol falls, means the coffee is free to work its magic!

Coffee’s beneficial effects on health are seriously legit. A meta-analysis of over 127 studies on the health impact of drinking coffee found it consistently linked to lower cancer rates, lower hear disease rates, lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, and lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. In fact, the only people who might want to avoid coffee are pregnant people, due to a slight increase in miscarriage risk for pregnant coffee drinkers. 

There’s nothing like learning your favourite foods come with secret health superpowers!

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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