This Is How Long to Wait After Waking Up to Drink Coffee


There are very few things on this green earth of ours better than a piping hot, freshly brewed cup of coffee. The smell of newly ground beans alone is enough to coax one’s mind into nirvana. It’s no wonder why coffee has become such a hot (or iced) commodity throughout time.

But as eager as we are to wake up and smell the coffee, how long after waking up should we drink coffee? 

Typically, you’d want to wait an hour to drink your first cup of coffee after waking up. This gives the body plenty of time to boot up without the assistance of any outside stimulants.

But you know what, everyone is different, and everyone has a different sensitivity to coffee. When it comes down to individual biology, there is no right answer. Knowing how to listen to your body is a vital tool.

Is It Okay To Drink Coffee on an Empty Stomach

For me, coffee first thing in the morning has become muscle memory. Many people share this routine.

drinking coffee in the morning
Coffee Is Why I Wake Up in the Morning!

Besides checking our strenuous social media feeds, making, and consuming coffee is the day’s first priority. With our busy schedules and deadlines, breakfast tends to get neglected over hot coffee. We’ve all had those mornings.

Generally, it would be best if you tried to avoid consuming coffee with an empty stomach.

Coffee stimulates the creation of stomach acids, which may trigger multiple gastrointestinal disorders combined with natural stomach acids. People who have preexisting GI or intestinal issues may want to avoid this.

For others, coffee on an empty stomach is nothing more than an enema alternative.

Which coffee drinkers tend to experience regardless!

If you do experience less than sublime results with morning coffee, try switching up the diet. Foods that are high in calcium tend to counteract the effects of increased stomach acids.

Cold brew coffee is better for sensitive stomachs
Cold Brew Coffee Is Better for Sensitive Stomachs

If you are experiencing issues related to your coffee’s acidity, you may want to switch up your brew, experiments led by Drs. Niny Rao and pre-med student Meghan Grim at Thomas Jefferson University have shown that cold brew coffees have a much lower concentration of acidic buildup and a higher number of antioxidants.

JavaPresse also has a good article that goes into this as well.

So, if you tend to drink coffee on an empty stomach, you may want to switch to cold brew and test how that works for you.

Do you want to make the best iced coffee at home? I guide you through all the steps in my article here.

iced coffee homemade

When is The Best Time to Drink Coffee

Well, this is a broad question, as most would respond with “ALL THE TIME.”

But as much as we love the stuff, it’s something we pay money for. So why wouldn’t we want to squeeze out every optimal feature we can?

The answer is in our biology.

I’m going to play scientist again and tell you about a process called the Circadian Rhythm.

Besides sounding like an awesome band name, the Circadian Rhythm is the natural biological clock that tunes with your body. It’s what makes you sleepy when the sun goes down and wakes you up when it rises again.

People who work nights experience this rhythm in reverse, and this is one reason people suffer from jetlag. During this process, the body fires off hormones to help wake you up in the morning.

Coffee when waking up in the morning
We Love Coffee but Waiting an Hour After Waking Up Is for the Better.

One of these naturally occurring hormones is our friend Cortisol. 

Cortisol is the alert hormone. It helps regulate blood pressure, stress levels, and fight or flight responses and controls the sleeping cycle. Its job is to provide you with alertness to get you moving.

Typically, the body possesses the highest concentration of cortisol when you first wake up.

Therefore, it’s recommended to enjoy your first hot cup of joe about an hour after waking up.

This allows your body’s natural chemicals to do what they do best. Drinking coffee during this process may impede the hormones effects, throwing off the entire process.

Check out my article all about Keto and coffee. This will tell you how much coffee you can drink while on the diet.

Consuming coffee during peak cortisol hours may halt its production, leaving you far groggier in the mornings without the extra boost of caffeine. This will slowly turn coffee from friend to crutch.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, coffee during peak cortisol hours may also produce too much. This imbalance of cortisol may cause various hormonal issues, including weight fluctuation, acne, and even damage to your immune system.

You may have more energy first thing in the morning than you think. So, it might be beneficial to wait that extra hour before indulging yourself in your delicious cup of coffee.

Why Do We Drink Coffee in the Morning

For some people, coffee is the only thing standing in the way of committing a felony on a chilly morning commute. It’s to achieve a boost of energy to help tackle the day’s challenging endeavors for others.

Maybe you’ve used it to help cure those crude morning hangovers after a night of festivities.

The most apparent reason for morning coffee is caffeine. That sweet, delicious dose of caffeine in the morning is nothing short of rocket fuel.

Additionally, there is the added “ritual” aspect of morning coffee. Waking up and intaking the aroma of the grinding beans, then gently scooping them into the filter as the water rapidly heats. For me, the creation of my java is equally part of the experience.

But when does a ritual become a habit?

Oscar Wilde said, “everything in moderation, including moderation.” I like to think that he was talking about coffee.

Craving a hot cup of joe in the early hours isn’t always related to lack of sleep or general grogginess. Too much coffee in the early morning will dilute the natural hormones that are supposed to be starting your engines when you wake up.

I’m going to play scientist for a moment tell you about a hormone called Cortisol. This chemical is naturally produced and is responsible for aiding in the morning bootup.

The more cortisol you have racing through your veins, the more alert and awake you are. Those who experience a deficiency of cortisol may feel the need for a cup of joe first thing in the morning.

With that said, morning coffee is also beneficial for those annoying early meetings that could have just been an email.

How Long Should I Wait To Drink Coffee After a Meal

Studies have shown that drinking coffee or any caffeine drinks prevents the body from absorbing iron, up to 39 percent apparently. This is for specific foods, as consuming bread with coffee decreased iron absorption from 60% to 90%.

It’s not so straight forward though. The strength of the coffee is also a factor in iron absorption. The stronger the cup of coffee, the less absorption occurs.

drinking coffee after a meal
It’s Best to Wait About an Hour After Eating To Refresh Your Cup of Coffee

This study from Healthline shows that it’s the amount of time after your meal that’s the most significant factor in preventing iron absorption.

The study didn’t show that coffee or tea is terrible. It showed that if you have an iron deficiency, you should wait at least an hour after a meal to drink coffee. This goes for any beverage that contains caffeine.

When Is the Best Time To Drink Coffee for Weight Loss

I don’t want to get too far into the weeds but I’ve this question come up time after time.

We’ve talked about the hormone cortisol and how it can enhance alerness and focus while it also reguates your metabolism, immune system and your blood pressure.

It’s shown the best time to drink coffee for weight loss is mid to late morning when your cortisol level is lower. This is going to be about an hour after waking up in the morning. For more on this, take a look at Healthline’s article here.

Wrapping Up

It’s best to wait for about an hour after waking up to start drinking coffee, as well as waiting an hour after eating.

Remember, though, these are general recommendations, and everyone is different, with a different reaction to coffee.

So, listen to your body, and do what’s best for you around your schedule.
What time do you start drinking coffee after waking up? Let us know what you’ve found best down in the comments.

Also, I have an interesting article about how to prevent heartburn while enjoying coffee.

best ways to prevent Heartburn from Coffee

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