Morning Coffee & Tea Time

Whats right about having a proper British tea party? The timing! In fact, if youre going to drink any caffeinated drink coffee, tea, cocoa, cola the late afternoon is the best time for your body to have it.

Chronobiologists scientists who study the bodys cycles have observed how wakefulness and sleep are governed by certain hormones. Some stimulate daytime alertness; others promote evening and nighttime relaxation.

Coffee and tea in the morning are temporary lifts that actually upset the bodys cycles, as does caffeine at night. In fact, your morning coffee or tea can make you feel sleepy during the day and restless at night. In addition to upsetting your biological clock, caffeine has the effect of raising blood-sugar levels, which gives the drinker a boost, but this lasts only about an hour and half because the body reacts to the higher sugar level by secreting insulin, which lowers blood sugar and gives you a tired and let down feeling.

Because the alert hormone peaks at about teatime 3:30 to 4:00 p.m., usually, that is when caffeine drinks will do the most to perk you up and have the least upsetting effect on your bodys cycle.

It is also a myth that coffee sobers a person up. The Food and Drug Administration says caffeine is at best a weak antagonist of the depressant effects of alcohol. So, giving strong black coffee to someone who has drunk too much may provide a false sense of confidence, because it wont improve the persons function, thinking, reflexes, or driving ability.

Americans consume an average of more the 600 milligrams of caffeine daily, and as a result many suffer a host of ailments from dizziness, headaches and neck tension to sleeplessness, agitation, and irregular heartbeat. In another case reported in the journal Postgraduate Medicine, symptoms vary from diarrhea to cramps. If youre considering limiting your intake, dont go cold turkey. It could disrupt the cycle and cause caffeine-withdrawal headaches. Ideally, youll get yourself down to one cup a day and have it at teatime.Robin Westen writes about health for national magazines.See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.?
1 2 Next
Print Article