When Is It Time To Call It Quits With Our Daily Coffee?

Ah yes, the question du jour when it comes to coffee drinking: when do I have my last cup of this potent brew? We may have a routine cutoff for our coffee drinking set because we know – by scientific observable experience in ourselves – what happens when we drink coffee past our end-the-caffeine-train time. Jitters at night, can’t fall asleep, the body thinks its in jet-lag, mind racing beyond our conscious control. So, maybe our shut down time is in the late morning, or a bit after noon, or in the late afternoon. Or maybe we’re among the lucky few who can drink coffee all night long with no special effects.

I drink decaf, which subtracts out 99% of the caffeine drug, so my last cup of coffee is at 10 at night while I’m reading the current book on my list of thousands of books to read. And reading and sipping great coffee is a true pleasure. That’s one advantage of decaf. If you want, you can drink it with delightful impunity at anytime of day or night.

However, science researchers have recently come up with the ideal time to shut down the coffee valve for real coffee drinkers. There have been numerous studies on this crucial subject, and one of the most recent advises that the last cup of real coffee should be about 2pm. This gives you 7 hours before sleep and all the caffeine molecules racing through your body looking for receptors have fizzled out. The Journal of Clinical Sleep found that if you quit coffee at 3 in the afternoon, you’re going to still feel effects six hours later.

The most beneficial time to drink coffee? Between 10am and noon.