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Why You Should Consider Starting Your Day Without Caffeine

Did you know?

The best time to drink coffee is between 10 am and noon, or between 2 and 5 pm. And if you want to get the most out of your coffee, you should at least drink it an hour after waking up.

Who doesn’t start their day with a cup of coffee? It’s a cultural mainstay and a lifelong habit—especially for Australians. There’s nothing wrong with drinking coffee moderately, but there’s a good reason why you should hold off a little longer before drinking your first cup in the morning.

In the morning, your body generates a lot of hormones called cortisol. You may associate cortisol with stress, but another one of its important functions is to help you feel alert when you wake up. Cortisol levels typically peak between 8-9 am, 12-1 pm, and 5:30-6:30 pm.

If you have your first cup of coffee when your natural cortisol levels are supposed to be at their highest, you are doing yourself a disservice. When your cortisol levels are up, your body is naturally caffeinating itself. If you don’t experience a natural alertness jump when you wake up––even when you get enough sleep––your body may have become dependent on caffeine instead of cortisol.

Caffeine actually sets back your body’s ability to produce cortisol. So as your body adjusts to getting a caffeine hit first thing in the morning, you will eventually produce less cortisol. Secondly, drinking coffee when your cortisol level is high makes you build a faster and stronger tolerance to caffeine, therefore reducing its effects.

Remember that abruptly cutting out your morning coffee can leave you with withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue. Unless you have a serious amount of willpower, try changing your habit slowly. Perhaps, consider reducing the size of your cup gradually over a few weeks.

Lastly, remember that there’s not enough coffee in the world to counter the fatigue caused by sleep deprivation. So your first line of defence against daytime sluggishness should always be an improved sleep quality.

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