Other distressing, stimulating side effects of cortisol and caffeine include agitation, restlessness, and jitters. You may have pulled an all-nighter while cramming for a college exam, or perhaps you have spent a sleepless night prepping a report to meet a deadline. If so, you may have experienced the shakiness and jitters that come from consuming excessive amounts of caffeine on an empty stomach. Again, coating your stomach with a layer of wholesome food can prevent the jitters while providing your body with the nutrients it needs to sustain your energy.
In addition to triggering an increase in cortisol levels, coffee can stimulate your stomach to produce extra acid. Another PNAS study suggests that caffeine causes increased stomach acid production by stimulating certain gastric cells. High levels of stomach acid can lead to symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. Meanwhile, lining your stomach with a layer of food before consuming your coffee can cushion your stomach against the effects of excessive acid production. Consuming a healthy breakfast or snack will also provide your body with the nutrients it needs to fuel you for the day.
6. Wait Until Mid-Morning
You can enjoy your morning cup of coffee without the unwanted side effects of excess cortisol and stomach acid. One way to achieve this goal is to wait until mid-morning to consume your first cup of joe. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that a United States Army sleep study has come up with an algorithm to determine the optimal time for caffeine consumption. This algorithm is based on an individual’s sleep-wake cycle. However, waiting until after breakfast or until the early afternoon doldrums set in may be helpful for making the most of the dose of caffeine in your coffee beverage.