If your day doesn’t start without coffee, we get it—it’s a cultural mainstay and a near-lifelong habit for many, if not most, Australians. There’s nothing wrong with drinking a moderate amount of coffee, but there’s a good biological reason you may want to hold off a little longer than you’re used to before drinking your first cup.
A number of important biological processes, like alertness, metabolism, and muscle tone, are governed by your circadian rhythm—a 24-hour cycle that’s regulated by external and internal signals. In the morning, your body makes a lot of a hormone called cortisol. You may associate cortisol with stress, which it’s involved in, but another one of its important functions is helping you feel alert when you wake up. Cortisol levels typically peak between 8-9am, 12-1pm, and 5:30-6:30pm.