Is It Okay To Drink Coffee In The Afternoon?

We've all experienced an afternoon slump. When this happens, many of us turn to a cup of coffee to help us get through the rest of the work day. But is that afternoon drink messing with your sleep? According to Livestrong, it might be. Coffee is a stimulant and will do the job of making you feel more alert when you drink it.

But those effects can last long into the afternoon and evening depending on your tolerance levels. "Since caffeine stimulates the central nervous system to keep you alert and awake, consuming it closer to bedtime can disrupt the total amount of deep sleep that we need to feel refreshed," said dietitian May Zhu, RDN, LDN. "It might also make it harder for you to fall asleep, which may shift your body's natural sleep/wake pattern." Drinking coffee in the afternoon can also cause you to urinate more during the night and contribute to late-night snacking. While everyone's experience will be different, it's best to avoid that afternoon cup of coffee if it causes you to have trouble sleeping later that night.

Benefits and side effects of drinking coffee

When you don't drink coffee close to bedtime, it has many health benefits. Drinking coffee every day may actually increase your lifespan, according to a 2015 study (via Circulation). The study found that people who enjoyed this beverage each day were more likely to live longer than those who drank coffee sparingly or didn't drink it at all. According to Eat This, Not That!, "the researchers reported that drinking 1 to 3 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 15% reduction in risk of dying." The researchers believe that the high levels of antioxidants, caffeine, and other plant compounds found in the drink can increase your lifespan by improving cardiovascular health and blood glucose levels.

Coffee has also been found to aid in burning fat, improve concentration, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, improve physical performance, and protect your liver (via Healthline). It may even help you avoid some types of cancer and stroke. As long as you drink it early in the morning and avoid it in the afternoon and evening, coffee can offer a variety of health benefits.