The best times to drink coffee
If you're looking for a bit of a boost, an easy way to get it is to drink a cup of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant and there's nothing wrong with knocking back a cup to enhance your performance at work. But is there a time of day that's best for drinking coffee? Though the scientists have studied it, the jury's still out. While we wait for the verdict, here are some suggestions...
Start the day with coffee
A morning cup of coffee is part of many people's routine, and contributes to the popularity of coffee machines. Recent research among Americans over 18 showed that half of those surveyed drank a cup of coffee every morning, and in the UK we're not too different. And it's no wonder; if you've had a late night out or are finding it difficult to get out of bed that caffeine hit can make all the difference. A cup of coffee will get your body moving and put your senses on high alert. That's one of the reasons that some athletes use it as a legal stimulant to improve endurance and performance. That can't be a bad thing in an office setting either.
A mid-morning boost
Even if you're OK getting out of bed in the morning, you might experience a pre-lunch slump. That's a good time to have another cup and harness your productivity once again. A mid-morning cup of coffee also makes for a great social get-together - there's a reason why coffee mornings are an institution in some areas! Office coffee machines also make great meeting places. Somehow coffee is good for bonding, and that's probably why even the smell can make you feel good. Research shows the scent of coffee is the second most recognisable smell in the US (if you're interested, the most recognisable is burning wood).
With a meal
Coffee also makes a great accompaniment to any meal. Many people love to enjoy a cup after dinner, when they're feeling great and are ready for conversation. It's the social side of coffee again, so don't knock it. A word of caution, though - if caffeine stimulates you, drinking it too close to bedtime might keep you awake longer than usual.
Finally, coffee is a good drink on any cold day. If you're standing on a train platform in winter, coffee may be the only thing that keeps out the chill. And anytime you have to be out in the cold it's a good warmer. In summer, when the days are long, you can still get your daily coffee fix but in cold iced coffee form instead.
Image: By Jeff Kubina (Coffee Beans) via Wikimedia Commons