I didn't get into coffee until about a decade ago, but, like other entrepreneurs, it quickly became a norm. The biggest coffee argument I hear isn't if you should drink coffee, but how much and how often you should drink it. As my Inc. colleague Geoffrey James reports, one guy just drank 47 cups in a day--so he's got the how much covered.
When should you drink it, though? Science points to two prime times to maximize the coffee impact in the best way possible.
Late morning and post-lunch
I learned a few years back that the best time to drink coffee is 11 a.m.--or about five hours after you wake up. Your body already releases hormones to get you going when you first start your day. That energy doesn't flag until later: before lunch and again during the post-lunch coma.
Here's what I wrote at the time:
Your body begins pumping cortisol when you wake up in the morning, kind of like a smelling salt to help you rise and shine.... Drinking coffee first thing in the morning is like adding lighter fluid to an already-growing fire: You quickly burn extra bright and burn out just as fast. However, drinking a cup between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. provides an energy bridge between your early cortisol rises.
You may need some willpower to hold out on the first cup, but the improved productivity and clarity throughout the day makes the wait worthwhile.
Right before you take a nap
You are taking naps, right? Studies show that a brief nap helps our brains think more clearly than powering through the day. As an independent solopreneur and author, I'm privileged enough to have a flexible, nap-friendly schedule. If you can, you should do the same.
"It takes about 20-25 minutes for that caffeine to get through your blood stream, so when you're waking up from that ideal 20-minute stretch, you get a double boost."
And when's the best time to take a nap? For the average schedule, science says between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., right in line with the best time you should be having that next cup of joe.