Lifestyle

Dr Miriam Stoppard – Don't drink coffee before you've properly woken up


The body needs time to rev up first thing in the morning to get going.

For instance, you shouldn’t attempt vigorous exercise shortly after waking because your body is dehydrated and your tissues won’t stretch.

Your muscles are stiff and your intervertebral discs are not spongy enough.

If you’re not ­careful you could even slip a disc.

And that glass of orange juice you gulp down sleepy-eyed overloads your metabolism and your blood sugar ­levels rocket.

That’s because your ­insulin-correcting metabolism isn’t fully functional yet.

And now another breakfast favourite is being disbarred.

It turns out your cup of coffee on an empty stomach can make you only half as able to control your blood sugar.

Just like holding off on orange juice, skipping coffee lets the body marshal its metabolism to handle sugar.

This is important if we’re to keep our blood sugar levels within a safe range to reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.



Dr Miriam Stoppard
Dr Miriam Stoppard has warned of the perils of early morning coffee

Bath University researchers believe this new information about coffee could have “far-reaching” health implications.

In their small but interesting study, 29 healthy men and women joined in three different overnight experiments in random order.

In the first two, participants were given a sugary drink on waking – first from a normal night’s sleep, and then again after a poor night’s sleep, during which they’d been wakened for five minutes every hour.

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In the third, their sleep was similarly disturbed, but they were given strong black coffee 30 minutes before consuming the sugary drink.

Blood samples were taken following the glucose drink in each experiment to track metabolic markers.

The good news is there’s no ­difference on blood sugar control between a poor night’s sleep and a normal night’s sleep.

Coffee, however, consumed before ­breakfast decreased blood sugar control by around a whopping 50%.

Professor James Betts of Bath University said, “We know that nearly half of us will wake in the morning and, before doing anything else, drink coffee – intuitively the more tired we feel, the stronger the coffee.

“This study is important and has far-reaching health implications, as up until now we have had limited ­knowledge about what this is doing to our bodies, in particular for our ­metabolic and blood sugar control.

“Put simply, our blood sugar control is impaired when the first thing our bodies come into contact with is coffee, especially after a night of disrupted sleep.

“We might improve this by eating first and then drinking coffee later if we feel we still need it.

“Knowing this can have important health benefits for us all.”

Now you know.





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