Love the rush your first cup of coffee gives you in the morning? Consider not having coffee right after waking up if you really want a boost.
HuffPo is taking a stance on when to have your first cup of coffee, which morning coffee-lovers might find controversial.
They note the body has a natural spike of the stress hormone cortisol (along with adrenaline) when we wake which produces more energy and helps us focus. They say adding caffeine to an already-boosted system is a waste.
"Waiting for your cortisol levels to die down before consuming caffeine lets each power source shine individually," they write.
Also, is that jittery feeling related to combining caffeine with elevated cortisol levels? The experts say this could be the culprit for morning jitters.
Registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood explains, "There is some science behind isolating caffeine and peak cortisol so they don’t go head to head and have negative compounded effects in the body [like the jitters]. You basically want the caffeine in the coffee to shine as a solo artist and not be influenced by the strong effects of cortisol. So in order to experience the true caffeine buzz, you may want to wait a beat before sipping your coffee, which will allow cortisol to mellow out."
The dietitian says alertness and focus levels usually peak 30 to 45 minutes after we wake up, so if you need a boost, enjoy your coffee after this time period. Additionally, HuffPo's experts say if you drink your coffee while also eating breakfast, this can ease those coffee-related jitters.
Experts also say delaying your coffee -- particularly if you are a coffee lover -- may help you savor and enjoy it more.
LCSW Peter Douglas tells HuffPo, “Anticipation brought on by delay can heighten your senses and satisfaction with any substance, including caffeine... once your morning cup of joe becomes a part of your routine, it’s predictable. Consistency is an agent of dullness, and you’ll create novelty by delaying your first cup.”
Alison Stone, LCSW and a holistic psychotherapist says enjoying your coffee without distractions may also help you feel the effects more. If your mornings are chaotic and you find yourself gulping down coffee out of habit, it might be worth a try to experiment with delaying that cup until you have two to three minutes to actually enjoy it,” she says.
And if coffee is not your thing, but you're still craving a morning energy boost, The Doctors have you covered with 3 great coffee alternatives to enjoy in the morning.