Home Lifestyle Over a quarter of people are breaking this crucial coffee rule

Over a quarter of people are breaking this crucial coffee rule

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Coffee drinkers don’t care about the rules (Picture: Getty Images)

You might have already had your first sip of coffee, or perhaps you’re in line right now, about the order that all important flat white.

There are people who swear by coffee in the early morning to help them function – but what about drinking a cup of Joe in the evening?

It turns out that Brits are a nation of rule breakers, as a study has revealed that plenty of us are savouring a cup of coffee in the evenings too. 

Sleep experts suggest having your last cup by around 2pm, otherwise you could be up all night. 

However, over a quarter of people in a new poll (28%) have admitted to enjoying a late-night dose of caffeine. A large chunk (64%) also have a second cup in the afternoon.

And it’s not just the odd cup. More than one in ten (14%) of the Brits surveyed by Phillips admitted to downing enjoying five cups a day.

Your last coffee should be in the afternoon (Picture: Getty Images)

When is the optimal time to drink coffee?

Health expert, Dr. Sarah Brewer, previously told Metro.co.uk about the effects caffeine has on our bodies.

She says that most people consume coffee far too early in the morning – so you might want to reassess your daily slot for your espresso shots. 

‘It’s never a good idea to reach for the coffee pot immediately after waking,’ Sarah said.

‘Between 8am and 9am, your body is naturally flooded with cortisol – a stress hormone that has an alerting effect and mobilises energy after your overnight fast.

‘Your blood cortisol levels are highest between half an hour and two hours after waking, and when your cortisol is peaking, it’s the worst time to drink coffee because caffeine mimics the stress response and causes your cortisol levels to rise even further.

‘This disturbs your biorhythms and induces a caffeine intolerance so it is less effective later in the day.’

This means your first cup should be at around 10am, and your second (if you need it) can be at around 2pm. You should only drink coffee after this time if your body metabolises caffeine quickly. 

If you do decide to have an evening cup, be wary of the risks. According to The Sleep Foundation, caffeine consumption can mean you fall asleep later, sleep for less time, and have less satisfying sleep overall.

However, there is separate research, published by Portuguese scientists in a scientific journal, which found the wakefulness effect of coffee may just be down to the experience of drinking coffee itself. 

Coffee alternatives for your evening drink

Another way to have a lovely warm drink in the evening without feeling energised all night is switching to caffeine-free options. And if you’re trying to kick your caffeine habit altogether, the NHS recommends cutting down gradually over a three-week period (or longer if needed) rather than going cold turkey.

Matcha, turmeric and chicory root are all alternatives experts swear by. Matcha, the green beverage, contains l-theanine, an amino acid found in the tea plant, which is said to improve sleep. It contains small amounts of caffeine, but not as much as a regular cup of coffee.

A Matcha latte can be a good alternative to regular coffee (Picture: Getty Images)

Turmeric contains antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits. The yellow spice is often used to treat gastrointestinal issues like bloating, cramping, and constipation and it has antibacterial properties. 

And chicory coffee is made from the roasted roots of the chicory plant and tastes similar to regular coffee. 

You could get the benefits of feeling like you’re drinking a nice hot cup of coffee, without any of the late-night jitters. 

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