The Science of Caffeine: When is the Best Time to Drink Coffee or Tea?

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Do you love coffee or tea? Do you drink it every day? If so, you’re not alone. In the United States, over 60% of adults drink coffee regularly while almost 30% of adults drink it every day. And for tea, those numbers are 39% and 14%, respectively. But do you know when is the best time to drink them? According to science, there is an ideal time frame for caffeine consumption – and it’s different for everyone. Keep reading to find out when is the best time for YOU to drink coffee or tea. .

Caffeine and Coffee 

Caffeine is a naturally-occurring psychoactive substance found in many plants, including coffee beans. When consumed, it can have various effects on the human body, including increased alertness and wakefulness. Caffeine is absorbed through the digestive system and then travels to the brain, where it binds to receptors and blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine. This process is what induces the “wakefulness” feeling associated with caffeine consumption.

As you probably know, coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world and contains a high concentration of caffeine. A typical cup of coffee has around 95-200mg of caffeine, depending on the type of beans used and the brewing method. For most people, drinking coffee is a way to enjoy the benefits of caffeine without experiencing any negative side effects. However, everyone is different and some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others.

The Best Time to Drink Coffee 

So when is the best time to drink coffee? The answer may surprise you. A recent study published in the journal Sleep found that the ideal time to drink coffee is mid-morning, around 10:00 AM.

The study looked at the caffeine consumption habits of over 400 adults and found that those who drank coffee at 10:00 AM had fewer sleep problems than those who drank it earlier or later in the day. The researchers believe that this is because mid-morning is when our bodies are naturally starting to feel more alert and awake. Drinking coffee at this time can help to enhance these effects and improve our overall wakefulness.

Of course, this is just an average and everyone’s caffeine metabolism will differ. So if you find that you’re more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to adjust your coffee-drinking habits accordingly. For example, you may want to avoid drinking coffee in the evening or close to bedtime so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

What are the factors that can influence the ideal time to drink coffee?

  1. Let’s look at your sleep patterns. Are you a night owl or an early bird? If you’re a night owl, then drinking coffee late in the day may keep you up at night. However, if you’re an early bird, then coffee in the morning may give you the boost you need to start your day.
  1. Let’s look at your caffeine metabolism. Caffeine has a half-life of around 5 hours, which means that it takes 5 hours for your body to break down and metabolize half of the caffeine consumed. So, if you drink coffee at 8:00 AM, by 1:00 PM only half of the caffeine will still be in your system. However, everyone metabolizes caffeine differently and some people may feel the effects of caffeine for much longer than others. So, if you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to avoid drinking it in the evening or close to bedtime.
  1. Your current energy levels. If you’re feeling tired and sluggish, then a cup of coffee may be just what you need to perk yourself up. However, if you’re already feeling wired and anxious, then coffee may not be the best choice.

So, is it different for tea? 


The answer is yes and no. Tea also contains caffeine, but typically in lower concentrations than coffee. For example, a cup of black tea has around 14-70mg of caffeine, while a cup of green tea has around 9-50mg. So, if you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to stick to tea.

In addition, the type of tea you drink can also influence the ideal time to drink it. For example, matcha green tea is a type of green tea that is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to promote relaxation and improve focus. Drinking matcha green tea in the evening may help you to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

On the other hand, pu-erh tea is a type of fermented black tea that has been shown to boost metabolism and energy levels. Drinking pu-erh tea in the morning may help you to start your day with a little extra pep in your step.

The bottom line


There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the ideal time to drink coffee or tea. It ultimately depends on your sleep patterns, caffeine metabolism, and energy levels. So, experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you.

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