When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?
Many people reach for a cup of this caffeinated beverage immediately after rising, whereas others believe it's more beneficial to hold off for a few hours.
This article explains when the best time to drink coffee is to maximize its benefits and minimize its side effects.
Cortisol and Coffee
Many people enjoy a cup — or three — of coffee upon rising or shortly thereafter.
However, it's thought that drinking coffee too soon after rising decreases its energizing effects, as your stress hormone cortisol is at its peak level at this time.
Cortisol is a hormone that can enhance alertness and focus. It also regulates your metabolism, immune system response, and blood pressure.
That said, it has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid- to late-morning when your cortisol level is lower.
For most people who get up around 6:30 a.m., this time is between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
While there may be some truth to this, no studies to date have observed any superior energizing effects with delaying your morning coffee, compared with drinking it immediately upon rising.
Another reason why it has been suggested that you should delay your morning coffee is that the caffeine from coffee can increase cortisol levels.
Drinking coffee when your cortisol level is at its peak may further increase levels of this hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol over long periods can impair your immune system, causing health problems.
Still, there have been no long-term studies on the health implications of elevated cortisol from drinking coffee.
Moreover, caffeine-induced increases in cortisol tend to be reduced in people who regularly consume caffeine.
That said, there's likely no harm if you prefer to drink coffee upon rising rather than several hours thereafter.
But if you're willing to change up your morning coffee ritual, you may find that delaying your coffee intake a few hours may give you more energy.
The best time to drink coffee is thought to be 9:30–11:30 a.m. when most people's cortisol level is lower. Whether this is true, remains to be determined. Caffeine can increase cortisol, but the long-term health implications of this are unknown.
Coffee Can Boost Exercise Performance
Coffee is known for its ability to promote wakefulness and increase alertness, but the beverage is also an effective exercise performance enhancer because of its caffeine content.
Plus, coffee can be a much cheaper alternative to caffeine-containing supplements like pre-workout powders.
Several studies have demonstrated that caffeine can delay exercise fatigue and improve muscle strength and power.
While it may not make a significant difference whether you choose to enjoy your coffee upon rising or several hours thereafter, the effects of the caffeine from coffee on exercise performance are time-dependent.
This is the time it takes caffeine levels to peak in your body.
For a 150-pound (68-kg) person, this equates to about 200–400 mg of caffeine, or 2–4 cups (475–950 mL) of coffee.
The exercise performance benefits of caffeine from coffee can be experienced within 30–60 minutes of drinking the beverage.
Anxiety and Sleep Problems
Caffeine in coffee can promote wakefulness and increase exercise performance, but it can also cause problems with sleep and anxiety in some people.
The stimulating effects of caffeine from coffee last 3–5 hours, and depending on individual differences, about half of the total caffeine you consume remains in your body after 5 hours.
Consuming coffee too close to bedtime, such as with dinner, can cause sleeping problems.
To avoid caffeine's disruptive effects on sleep, it's recommended to avoid consuming caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed.
In addition to sleep problems, caffeine can increase anxiety in some people.
If you have anxiety, you may find that drinking coffee makes it worse, in which case, you may need to consume less or avoid the beverage completely.
You can also try switching to green tea, which contains one-third of the caffeine in coffee.
The beverage also provides the amino acid L-theanine, which has relaxing and calming properties.
Caffeine can cause sleep problems when it's consumed too close to bedtime. The stimulant may also increase anxiety in some people.
How Much Coffee is Safe?
Healthy individuals can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily — the equivalent of about 4 cups (950 mL) of coffee.
These recommendations for safe caffeine intake include caffeine from all sources.
Other common sources of caffeine include tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and even dark chocolate.
Healthy adults can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, whereas pregnant and nursing women can safely consume up to 300 mg per day, with some research suggesting that 200 mg is the safe limit.
The Bottom Line
Coffee is a popular beverage that's enjoyed throughout the world.
It has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid- to late-morning when your cortisol level is lower, but research on this topic is lacking.
Consuming coffee 30–60 minutes before your workout or sporting event can help delay fatigue and increase muscle strength and power.
Keep in mind that the stimulating effects of caffeine from coffee can cause sleep problems if consumed too close to bedtime, as well as increase anxiety in some people.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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