For many of us, a good strong cup of coffee before breakfast is the only way we know how to kickstart a brand new day.
But we may need to reconsider our habits after a study has suggested that those caffeine fixes could cause health issues.
Specifically, scientists at the University of Bath have been looking at the combination of a poor night’s sleep and a coffee first thing on waking up.
And the study results suggest that this could adversely affect one’s metabolism and blood sugar levels.
The researchers also found that waiting until after breakfast to drink your coffee significantly improves the body’s ability to break down food.
Fluctuating sugar levels can result in a negative effect on blood glucose control. This can potentially increase the chances of heart disease as well as diabetes.
The experiments were conducted on 29 healthy men and women, who undertook three different scenarios.
The first two situations involved the participants being given a sugary drink upon awaking – both after a normal night’s sleep and also after being disrupted by being woken up for five minutes every hour.
First eat breakfast, then indulge in coffee
The sugary drink represented the same calorie intake as a standard breakfast. In the third experiment, participants were given a strong black coffee 30 minutes before being given the sugary drink, after a poor night’s sleep.
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The researchers found that a single night’s poor sleep did not necessarily have harmful effects.
However, when paired with strong black coffee, the blood glucose response to the drink shot up by around 50%.
“Until now we have had limited knowledge about what this is doing to our bodies, in particular for our metabolic and blood sugar control,” said Professor James Betts, co-director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism at the University of Bath.
“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.”
IMAGE FEATURED: Antonio Guillem