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Longevity Briefs: Scientists find the ideal time to drink your morning coffee

Posted on 14 December 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of novel research in biology, medicine, or biotechnology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Whether it’s a frothy cappuccino or a double shot of espresso, coffee has become an integral morning ritual for many people all over the world. Its rich taste and bitter aroma serves as a welcoming wake-up call, whilst the caffeine helps to blow away the morning mind fog.

But just how does this, seemingly global, habit impact on our health?

What did the researchers do: In a study conducted at the university of Bath, in the UK, researchers investigated how broken sleep and morning coffee influence metabolic function. They recruited 29 healthy men and women. The group participated in three overnight experiments:

  1. Participants had a normal night’s sleep (~8hrs) and consumed a sugary drink upon waking in the morning.
  2. Participants experienced a disrupted night’s sleep, where they were woken for 5 minutes every hour, and then upon waking were given the same sugary drink.
  3. Participants experienced the same sleep disruption but were first given a strong black coffee 30 minutes before consuming the sugary drink.

The participants blood samples were taken for analysis following each experiment.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: The study found that a single night of broken sleep is no worse for metabolic health than a full night’s sleep.

However, those of us who tuck into a steaming hot cup o’ joe before breakfast, in doing so this increases blood glucose response by around 50%. A habit that could influence the onset of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

More trials will be required to provide definitive proof as to how different coffee-drinking routines affect metabolism. But for now, these findings indicate that people should drink their morning coffee after breakfast, not before.

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