This Is the Worst Time to Drink Your Morning Coffee, Study Says

Even though you want that boost, a new study says you should wait to drink your first cup of joe.

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For many people out there, there's no starting the day until you get that cup of coffee. This is especially true of those who don't always have time to sit and eat a full breakfast. But new research has found that downing your first cup of coffee before your first meal of the day is actually a big mistake. In fact, the research, which was recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests it's better to have a little something to eat before you reach for your mug for the sake of your health.

The research out of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism at the University of Bath in the U.K. looked at the effects that a black cup of coffee had on 29 healthy men and women. The subjects were asked to undergo three different conditions in random order: one with a normal night's sleep followed by a sugary drink first thing in the morning, one where they were woken for five minutes every hour and given the same sugary breakfast drink, and one where sleep was interrupted but the subjects were given a cup of coffee a half an hour before the sugary drink. By taking blood samples of the participants, the researchers found that those who had coffee before their sugary beverage had a 50 percent blood glucose spike compared to the other subjects.

Man making coffee at home
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The researchers say that despite other studies that show specific health benefits of morning coffee, having a cup of joe before breakfast could make it harder for your body to tolerate sugar and carbohydrates commonly found in your morning meal, spiking insulin resistance. Over time, the study authors say, this could increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

"Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee especially after a night of disrupted sleep," study co-author James Betts, PhD, co-director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Metabolism at the University of Bath, said in a statement. "We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still feel need it. Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all."

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Besides, drinking your coffee first thing in the morning may not be the best for getting the most mileage out of your sought after energy boost anyway. Experts say that the best way to pace things is to follow your body's natural levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is released throughout the day based on your sleeping patterns. Assuming you wake up at 6:30 a.m, experts say that the best time of day to drink caffeinated coffee is between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. to avoid any counterproductive jitters, Inc. reports.

When it comes to that vital morning caffeine fix, it appears that good things come to the early birds who wait. And for more on why your java may not be giving you a jolt, this is Why You Still Feel Tired After Drinking Coffee.

Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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