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Why You Should Rethink Your Morning Coffee

For most of us, a strong cup of coffee is what we reach for every morning. Whether or not we’ve had a bad night sleep (but especially if we have) a cup of coffee first thing is how many of us start the day. But if you find that you’re feeling stressed or anxious as the day wears on, it may be that your innocuous cup of coffee is to blame. Here’s why.

When we wake up our cortisol levels are naturally at their highest, according to our circadian rhythms. As the day wears on, these levels gradually decrease until bedtime, when they’re at their lowest, enabling us to get a deep and restorative night’s sleep. The problem with drinking coffee first thing when cortisol levels are already high, is that caffeine increases cortisol secretion, which inevitably could leave you feeling more stressed or anxious than ever. By interfering with the natural circadian rhythm, it might leave you feeling groggier than when you woke by spiking your blood sugar and draining your energy.

Turning to coffee first thing is also a bad idea for hydration. As a diuretic, caffeine will increase your need to urinate, ultimately depleting your body of liquids when you should, after several hours of sleep, be looking to top them up.

If you can’t bear the thought of giving up your morning cup altogether then all is not lost. Instead of turning to it as soon as you wake, leave it 3-4 hours. That way you will reap all the benefits of a cup of coffee, including an energy boost when you probably need it, but without increasing feelings of stress and anxiety.

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