How to maximize each cup
Updated: Jan 8, 2021
How to make it really work for you, every time you drink it.
1. Wait 15 minutes (at least) after waking to drink it.
Given your body's desire to get more sleep, what's known as "sleep inertia," it's natural to wake up tired. This often wears off in about 15 minutes, but if you've already drunk some of your first cup by then, it can lead to your consuming more caffeine than you ultimately need.
2. Take an hour and a half break (at least) between cups.
Many people drink a cup and don't feel anything. So they drink another cup and then they start to feel it. But that's not because of the second cup. Caffeine takes about a half hour or so to reach its maximum effectiveness, so that kick they are actually feeling is the first cup coming into effect. After another 30 minutes, the second cup kicks in and ... well.
3. Don't drink too much of it.
Two hundred milligrams of caffeine is what you'll find in most 12-ounce cups of coffee, and this amount will bring most people to their peak-performance levels for two hours, at which point the caffeine will begin to slowly leave your system. (At the two-hour mark, the sleep and food you've had will hopefully pick up the slack for a while, along with the ascendancy of your circadian rhythm.) Anything more than 200 milligrams in a two-hour time frame results in diminishing returns and increases the likelihood of fidgetiness.