Forget the Wait 2 Hours Rule: New Research Shows You Can Drink Your First Cup of Coffee Whenever You Want

A meta-review of 127 studies published in the Annual Review of Nutrition found that coffee can reduce the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and depression. A study by the National Institute of Health found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were nearly 10% less likely to become depressed than those who drank none.

Coffee can also make you smarter, as research has found little to no effect from ingesting caffeine prior to creating new memories. A study published in Nature Neuroscience determined that ingesting caffeine after learning improved memory recall up to 24 hours later.

However, science disagrees with the idea that waiting for an hour or two before pouring your first cup of coffee is necessary. A meta-analysis of over 200 studies published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that there is no evidence that caffeine ingestion upon waking is somehow responsible for an afternoon “crash” or that delaying consumption would somehow prevent this if it did occur.

Caffeine dehydration can negatively impact concentration, reaction time, short-term memory, and mood. However, the meta-analysis found that sweat rate, hydration strategy, and genetics appear more influential on hydration status than reasonable caffeine intake alone. The water in your coffee offsets the effect up to around five cups a day, so the whole “you need to hydrate before drinking coffee” thing isn’t a factor.

In conclusion, when you decide to drink your first cup of coffee is a little like what time you decide to wake up in the morning. Success is all about what you accomplish and how you choose to accomplish it. So, do what you think is best for you, whether it’s waiting or pouring your cup right away.

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