Timing Your Morning Coffee: The 90-Minute Rule According to Dr. Andrew Huberman

For many, a cup of coffee is the first thing they reach for after waking up. But according to neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman, waiting 90 minutes before consuming your morning caffeine can have significant benefits for your energy levels and overall well-being. Let's explore the science behind this 90-minute rule and why you should consider adjusting your coffee routine.


The Cortisol Awakening Response:

When we wake up, our body experiences a natural increase in cortisol levels, known as the Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps us feel alert and awake. Consuming caffeine during this cortisol spike can diminish the effects of both cortisol and caffeine, making your morning coffee less effective in boosting your energy levels.

Caffeine and Adenosine Receptors:

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleepiness, and its levels increase throughout the day. By waiting 90 minutes after waking to consume caffeine, you allow your adenosine levels to rise slightly, making the caffeine more effective at blocking the receptors and keeping you alert.

Optimizing Circadian Rhythm:

One of the keys to optimal sleep and wakefulness is maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Drinking coffee immediately after waking can disrupt the natural cortisol rhythm, potentially leading to poor sleep quality and difficulty waking up in the morning. Waiting 90 minutes before consuming caffeine helps preserve your natural cortisol pattern, promoting better sleep and wakefulness.

Reducing Caffeine Dependency:

Consuming caffeine too early in the day can lead to increased caffeine dependency, as your body relies more on the external stimulant rather than its natural cortisol release. By waiting 90 minutes after waking, you allow your body to rely more on its natural mechanisms for wakefulness, reducing the chances of developing a caffeine dependency.


Adjusting your morning coffee routine by waiting 90 minutes after waking up can lead to better energy levels, improved sleep quality, and a healthier relationship with caffeine. By leveraging your body's natural cortisol rhythm and allowing adenosine levels to rise slightly, you can make the most of your morning coffee while supporting your overall well-being. Give the 90-minute rule a try and experience the difference in your daily energy and focus.

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