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Stephanie Malouf | Accredited Nutritionist

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The best time to drink your morning coffee to avoid adrenal fatigue

Stephanie Malouf Nutrition

Are you someone that needs a coffee first thing in the morning to wake up? If you are, let me explain why you should wait a few hours before downing your morning espresso.

We have a biological body clock called the circadian rhythm that regulates our patterns of sleepiness and alertness in a 24-hr period. Our overall health and wellness relies heavily on this pattern as it affects many of our bodily functions. This is why it’s important to try to keep your sleep patterns as sychronised a possible.

For those of us that follow a normal sleep pattern, ideally 10:30pm-6:30am, we are naturally most alert between 8am-9:30am. During this time, cortisol levels peak which is the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. When we drink coffee, the caffeine hit places added stress on our bodies causing the adrenal glands to release more of this stress hormone.

However if coffee is part of you daily morning routine, overtime you build up a tolerance to the caffeine. This means means that the more coffee you drink to help wake you up, the more you need overtime for the same effect. When consumed at the time we are naturally meeting out maximum level of alertness (8am-9:30am) we become desensitised and soon we need not one but two coffees to feel human in the morning. Overtime this places chronic stress on the adrenal glands and they begin to struggle with their ability to release cortisol on their own. The long term result = adrenal fatigue.

Signs of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Poor immunity 
  • Salt cravings
  • Constipations
  • Body aches
  • Irritability

To support your adrenal glands and prevent them from becoming fatigued, enjoy your morning coffee after 9:30am when your cortisol levels begin to drop. Light is the biggest cue in stimulating our alert state, so swing open the blinds and leave the sunglasses off to allow yourself to wake up naturally first.