It’s becoming increasingly clear that one of the keys to greater well-being is taking back control of your inner self. Following the rhythm of nature, settling back into the flow of the seasons and embracing the way that time passes are all steps that can help to steer you in this direction.
The core principle behind it is that everything that exists in nature is part of a living system that revolves around biological cycles, as has been proven by science.
It’s well established that the day is the best time to work, have fun and move about, while the night is the ideal time to rest, recharge your batteries and restore your body and mind. However, it’s also important to realize that the organs in the human body don’t work in the same way all through the day.
What’s coffee got to do with all of this?
Coffee comes into it when you take into account “circadian rhythms”: the big mechanisms in our genetically preset body clocks that influence and have an impact on every aspect of our lives, dictating when we wake up, when we sleep, when we’re active and how much energy we have.
Life is easy when your rhythms run smoothly. You have more energy, you tend to have a more positive outlook on things, you’re more socially connected and life feels more satisfying.
Circadian rhythms are governed by sunlight, which also ensures that hormones are produced properly.
The hormone at the heart of our look at coffee today is “cortisol”. It provides essential support for the vital organs and gives you the energy you need to get through times when you’re feeling run-down and listless, but if too much is produced it can lead to imbalance in the immune system and a number of problems, including weight gain. It’s no surprise that cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”.
You need to take into account three things: the time when you normally have your first cup of coffee, its properties, and the peak cortisol production time.
Most of us wake up between 7:00 am and 8:00 am, then have a morning cup of coffee soon afterwards, at the very time of day when cortisol secretion is at its highest.
As you might imagine, there’s no need to catalyse your cortisol production at that time. Your body already has enough of it to fill you with the right amount of energy as you wake up. Adding more cortisol when you’ve just risen from your bed could actually make you feel tired and weary.
Consequently, having your first coffee of the day as soon as you wake up doesn’t give you the energy-boosting benefits of caffeine, at least not from a physiological point of view.
It’s at the times when your cortisol levels drop that your body needs a helping hand from caffeine. If you have a cup of coffee between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, you’ll be able to count on its reinvigorating effects for the following five hours.
Having said all that, the psychological side should not be overlooked.
It’s often the thought of coffee that gives us the strength to drag ourselves out of bed and stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen.
As well as aromas and flavours, coffee’s all about traditions, habits and family. No matter how good or bad a night you’ve had, it puts you in your comfort zone first thing in the morning. You might even find it stressful to go without coffee, and stress increases cortisol levels.
Endless discussions could be had about it! As is often the case, nothing is clear cut. You just need to show a little common sense.
Speaking of senses, we’d like to suggest a couple of treats for your taste buds. For #MokaLovers there’s the wonderfully creamy Capriccio blend, which is ideal for serving with milk thanks to its trademark chocolatey aftertaste. For #EspressoLovers we recommend the different blends in eco-friendly, Nespresso-compatible 01, 02, 03 capsules.
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