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Many of us will want a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning, to get us ready for the long commute or hours spent staring at a screen, and to shake off the fatigue from the night before.
This is a common ritual, and though we are so used to reaching straight for a hot cup of joe in the morning, it seems as if it is not the wisest choice.
Dr. Karan Raj, who has millions of followers on TikTok, where he offers advice and information about health and wellness, recently appeared on BBC Morning Live saying that we should stop drinking coffee in the morning.
He explained his reasoning further: "Don't drink coffee first thing in the morning to wake you up. Your body naturally wakes you up with cortisol, you get a cortisol spike in the morning."
Dr. Raj suggests that drinking coffee in the morning is useless as the caffeine isn't needed at that time, and it is interfering with your body's natural awakening processes.
He advises people to wait a few hours after waking up: "Save your coffee until mid-morning when your cortisol levels and your energy levels dip so you get a caffeine boost then, and it'll be better."
Many of his fans were disappointed by the advice, commenting on his TikTok: "I gotta have coffee first thing in the morning or we can't be friends."
Another joked, "Can I have a coffee first thing and mid-morning as a compromise?"
Though his advice seems sound, is it actually true?
According to Giulia Guerrini, the lead pharmacist at Medino, an early morning coffee can really interfere with your cortisol production.
"It is indeed true that your body naturally produces cortisol first thing in the morning (around 8-9am), which is when production of the hormone is at its peak," she tells Tyla. "Having caffeine during this time interferes with the production of cortisol, as your body releases less of the hormone, relying on the caffeine."
This in turn, Giulia explains, results in your body becoming more dependant on an early morning caffeine boost, eventually resulting in you needing to drink more of it for your body to feel its effects.
"Recent research from Bath University has also suggested that you should always drink coffee after breakfast, as having it before can have a negative effect on your blood sugar control," she adds.
Drinking a strong cup of java in the morning may also have a negative effect on your gut, explains Abbas Kanani, Superintendent Pharmacist at Chemist Click.
"You may also feel the need to go to the toilet quite quickly as caffeine can act as a laxative, this may then make you feel tired, weak and dehydrated," he says.
"As cortisol is the stress hormone, may also leave you to feel anxious or buzzed depending on how strong the coffee is."
So, should we kiss goodbye to our cafetieres and shun Starbucks altogether?
Well, not quite.
If you simply can't cast coffees aside, Abbas suggests you try and limit your caffeine intake - particularly if you do notice drinking lots of coffee is having an effect on your health.
"Make sure you know your limits," he says. "Perhaps you can limit your coffee intake to one a day and/ or put a rule in place where you only have your morning coffee an hour after you’ve woken up to allow your body to wake up naturally and adjust to a new day."
Giulia, meanwhile, suggests replacing coffee with decaf, so you can still enjoy your morning beverage without necessarily taking in so much caffeine.
"Although you might not want to hear this, the best drink to have first thing in the morning to wake you up is a humble glass of water!" she says. "Herbal and green teas are also a good way to start your day, and even many do contain caffeine, the dose is much lower than in a standard cup of coffee.
"Alternatively, if you are able to get up and make one, then smoothies are a great way to wake up in the morning, providing natural sources of energy; also, the physical act of getting up and making a smoothie will help get you energised for the day."
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