MONEY consumer psychology

5 Foolish Money Myths You Can Stop Believing Right Now

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lina aidukaite—Getty Images

Drink your latte.

Whether you think of yourself as money-savvy or you’re acutely aware of where your personal-finance knowledge is lacking, it’s always good to make sure you aren’t managing your money on assumptions that are faulty to begin with.

Here are a few common money myths to kick to the curb.

Myth No. 1: Credit cards are evil

With the average credit card debt sitting at just over $15,000 per household, it’s easy to think that plastic is the irresponsible way to pay. Not so fast.

It’s not the method of payment that’s the problem; in fact, having credit cards can actually help your credit score. A full 10% of your credit score depends upon having a mix of credit types — installment credit, like a car loan, and revolving credit, like credit cards.

In addition, credit cards offer more security than any other form of payment, allowing you to dispute fraudulent activity without footing the bill.

Myth No. 2: Skipping your morning coffee will make you rich

Cutting back on small expenses might offer some breathing room in your budget over the long term, but money not spent doesn’t necessarily equal money saved. To grow that money, it would need to be put into a place where growth can occur — like an investment account or, at the bare minimum, a savings account.

You may think cutting out a daily expenditure is putting you on a path to financial independence, but that’s only step one.

Myth No. 3: It’s too risky to invest your money

The truth opposing this myth is simple — it’s too risky to not invest your money.

If you’re already diligent about socking away money each month, that’s a great start. But with interest rates sitting so low, money put into a savings account will likely lose more to inflation than it can make up in growth. That’s where investing comes in.

Through the power of compounding, a single $500 investment made at the age of 20 earning a conservative 5% return would be $4,492.50 at the age of 65. Imagine that scenario with ongoing contributions and larger returns. It would put any savings account to shame.

Myth No. 4: All debt should be paid before saving

Unfortunately, emergencies and unexpected expenses occur at all stages of life — even when you’re working to pay off student loans or crawl out from underneath credit card debt.

A study recently released by Bankrate found that 60% of Americans wouldn’t have the funds available to cover even small hiccups — like a $500 medical bill or car repair. Think about how many of those expenses you’ve run into in the last six to 12 months; probably at least one.

If you want to avoid incurring more debt as a result of life’s curveballs, work to save while paying off debt. This will give you a better chance of smooth sailing to the finish line.

Myth No. 5: You should borrow the most money offered to you

Wondering how much house you can afford? Don’t let the loan amount offered by the bank be your guiding light.

Those in the business of making loans are incentivized to offer the biggest loan possible that you’ll be approved for. So while they may be checking out your debt-to-income ratio, this simple equation doesn’t always offer an accurate snapshot of what you can actually manage to pay each month.

The same goes for credit card limits — having a $20,000 limit doesn’t mean your finances can easily handle paying back $20,000 worth of purchases.

More From Trulia:

TIME Diet/Nutrition

This Is the Caffeine Capital of America

Here are the places in the U.S. with the most coffee lovers

Everyone knows that America doesn’t run on patriotism and hard work—it runs on caffeine. When Starbucks baristas spell your name wrong, it’s a harbinger of bad luck for the rest of your day; if your hands and mouth don’t suffer from spilled-coffee burns on a weekly basis, you’re not doing it right.

It seems like wherever you go around the country, one thing is for certain: you’ll undoubtedly be able to get your fix and be on your way. In fact, according to the National Coffee Association’s 2013 online survey, 83% of U.S. adults drink coffee, averaging three cups a day per person.

But, of course, some cities are much more wired than others. Out of many buzzing contenders, FindTheHome collaborated with FindTheCompany, to identify the cities in California with the most coffee shops per capita. The competition was intense, but only one city was crowned the beating heart that keeps the American dream…awake.

28. Boulder, CO

Cafés per 10K people: 10.86
Population: 100,363

27. Pasadena, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 10.87
Population: 138,004

26. Bend, OR

Cafés per 10K people: 10.88
Population: 78,128

25. West Palm Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 10.91
Population: 100,778

24. San Rafael, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11
Population: 58,162

23. Jupiter, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.03
Population: 56,219

22. Redmond, WA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.17
Population: 55,505

21. Palo Alto, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.19
Population: 65,234

20. Hoboken, NJ

Cafés per 10K people: 11.19
Population: 50,929

19. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.21
Population: 168,603

18. Miami, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 11.61
Population: 407,526

17. Berkeley, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.75
Population: 114,037

16. Portland, OR

Cafés per 10K people: 11.80
Population: 594,687

15. Asheville, NC

Cafés per 10K people: 11.89
Population: 84,883

14. Brookline, MA

Cafés per 10K people: 11.92
Population: 58,738

13. Hialeah, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 12.45
Population: 228,943

12. Portland, ME

Cafés per 10K people: 12.53
Population: 66,227

11. Cambridge, MA

Cafés per 10K people: 12.58
Population: 105,737

10. Kendall, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 13.37
Population: 77,018

9. Santa Fe, NM

Cafés per 10K people: 13.95
Population: 68,800

8. Newport Beach, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 14.07
Population: 86,001

7. Delray Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 14.22
Population: 61,875

6. San Francisco, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 14.69
Population: 817,501

5. Sarasota, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 14.83
Population: 52,588

4. Seattle, WA

Cafés per 10K people: 15.01
Population: 624,681

3. Santa Monica, CA

Cafés per 10K people: 15.87
Population: 90,752

2. Boca Raton, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 16.15
Population: 86,671

1. Miami Beach, FL

Cafés per 10K people: 21.70
Population: 89,412

This article originally appeared on FindTheBest

More from FindTheBest:

TIME Food

Here’s Why We’re Suddenly Consuming Less Coffee

Leading Coffee Supplier J.M. Smucker Co Raises Coffee Prices Nine Percent
Mario Tama—Getty Images In this Photo Illustration, a woman holds a cup of coffee on the street August 3, 2010 in New York City.

Consumption is dropping for the first time in years

Keurig Green Mountain’s K-Cups have gotten plenty of flak for being wasteful. In 2014, the company sold enough non-recyclable containers to circle the earth 10.5 times. The cups almost always end up in landfills. But Keurig machines might also be creating less waste, in a manner of speaking.

According to a biannual report on coffee released Friday by the USDA, coffee consumption is declining in the United States for the first time since 2009-2010. The reason? The rise of Keurig machines means fewer Americans are pouring their extra drip coffee down the drain.

According to the report, coffee consumption will drop in 2015-16 from 24 million 60kg bags to 23.7 million. While the decline is slight, it makes the United States the only top coffee-drinking country to see demand fall after steady growth.

Meanwhile, spending on coffee is up. Reuters reports that while Americans spent a record $11.9 billion on coffee in 2014, they’ll be spending $13.6 billion by 2016. Almost a quarter of American homes now own Keurig-style machines. But since the brewers generally only make one cup at a time, Americans who used to make a pot of drip coffee for themselves each morning no longer have to pour half their coffee down the drain. Says one roaster to Reuters: “We’re losing the sink as a consumer.”

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Just Released an App Update That Lets You Skip Waiting in Line

starbucks-skip-the-line
Zhang Peng—LightRocket / Getty Images

Coffee fans in 21 more states will be able to order their drinks ahead of time using Starbucks' mobile app.

Good news, Starbucks fans: The company is expanding a pilot program that lets customers order ahead of time and bypass the checkout line to 21 new states.

That program, known as mobile Mobile Order & Pay, launched last December in Portland and works through Starbucks’ existing iPhone app. Users can simply select their drink, their local store (the app even features wait times at various locations) and pay for their drink using the app. Then they can just stroll through the door and pick up their order—no line-waiting required.

In March, Starbucks expanded the program to Pacific Northwest, including Seattle, and now the company has announced the Mobile Order & Pay is also coming to 3,400 locations in the southern and central United States.

So far, Android users are still locked out of using the service—Mobile Order & Pay is currently iPhone-only—but Techcrunch reports the program will expand to all company-operated stores and the Android platform later this year.

TIME South Sudan

Why George Clooney is Supporting Coffee Farming in South Sudan

South Sudan food insecurity
Charles Lomodong—AFP/Getty Images Internally displaced persons queue to register at a refugee camp in Bentiu, South Sudan in February 2015.

A possible solution to the chaos in the world's youngest country can be found at the nexus of celebrity, cause and commerce

When it comes to celebrities and their causes, there is perhaps no more indelible pairing than George Clooney and the nation of South Sudan. After decades of conflict and a genocide that left 2.5 million dead in the East African nation of Sudan, Clooney turned the light of his celebrity on the issue, rallying international support for a long promised referendum on independence for the southern part of the country, that, on January 9, 2011, gave birth to South Sudan. But an 18-month-long civil war, fueled in part by disputes over the new country’s lucrative oil fields, threatens to turn the world’s youngest nation into its latest failed state. On 10 June the Red Cross issued an urgent appeal, warning that 4.6 million South Sudanese were facing “severe food insecurity,” and that in some of the worst afflicted areas people were reduced to eating water lilies to survive. Clooney, who on the eve of South Sudan’s independence cautioned that the early years in the new country were likely to be chaotic, also laid the groundwork for an alternate future that is slowly starting to bear fruit – literally.

In the southwestern state of Central Equatoria, 300 farmers are tending to some 20,000 newly planted coffee trees in an ambitious attempt to reduce the importance of oil to the national economy by focusing on the sustainable export of coffee. And not just any coffee: Premium espresso beans destined for the aluminum capsules of Nespresso, the other name indelibly associated with Clooney. Associated internationally at least — American fans may not be aware he is the brand’s spokesman everywhere else in the world.

At the nexus of celebrity, cause and commerce, Nespresso’s South Sudan project aims to build the coffee industry from the ground up, by planting trees, training farmers in sustainable growing practices, and helping locals set up basic processing mills and sales cooperatives. They have invested $750,000 so far through TechnoServe, a nonprofit development organization that seeks to solve poverty through creating local business. If the pilot project goes well, Nespresso anticipates investing a total of $2.1 million through 2016 and creating a market big enough for some 15,000 coffee farmers. Already the signs are good. In 2013, South Sudanese farmers sent 1.8 metric tons of unroasted coffee beans to Nespresso in Switzerland. It was the country’s first ever non-oil export to Europe, and though the amount was small, the reception was ecstatic.

Like wine, good coffee comes from specific terroirs — climatic and soil conditions that create a distinct flavor profile. The signature aroma of a good South Sudanese coffee, according to Nespresso’s coffee experts, is of “cereals and plum.” Coffee originates from Africa’s Rift Valley, and the area now known as South Sudan was once known for coffee that was exported across the Middle East centuries ago. But decades of war, and a growing reliance on oil exports, saw the industry decline long before South Sudan became independent.

As anyone who has ever walked into a Nespresso boutique knows, the brand stakes its prestige on carefully cultivated coffee terrorirs, from Columbia to Ethiopia and Brazil. Most of those coffee-producing nations have spent decades building up markets and a reputation for quality that transcends any particular purveyor, be it Starbucks, Illy or Intelligentsia. In South Sudan, Nespresso has an opportunity to stamp its name on an entirely new coffee origin. In doing so it is capitalizing on novelty, quality and the feel-good aspects of investing in a good cause that happens to be backed by an international celebrity. “George did introduce us to South Sudan because of his passion for the country. But even though he is influential, we wouldn’t be interested in the country but for the fact that it has exceptional coffee,” says Daniel Weston, Nespresso’s Director of Creating Shared Value, a position that focuses on developing the communities that provide Nespresso its raw materials.

Coffee, as a commodity sold around the world at fluctuating prices, is not lucrative on a small scale. But if farmers develop a niche product that can be sold at a premium, they have a chance of creating a worthwhile livelihood that sustains their communities while minimizing environmental impacts. That’s where TechnoServe, which has been working in coffee for nearly 50 years, comes in. In South Sudan, their agronomists have essentially elevated a local product from the coffee equivalent of table grapes to a distinct cultivar that stands on its own when passed through an espresso machine. The farmers can then sell those beans to Nespresso, or anyone else, at a 40% premium. “A small farmer working an acre of land can produce the best and most valuable coffee in the world,” says TechnoServe CEO William Warshauer, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum for Africa in Cape Town in early June. “We want the multinationals to make profits, and we want farmers to lift their families out of poverty. This project ticks both boxes.”

No one believes that coffee alone will pull South Sudan from the brink, least of all George Clooney. But it’s a start. “If there is to be lasting peace and prosperity in South Sudan, part of the equation will be a diversified economy and opportunities that benefit the people of the country,” says Clooney in a statement. “The investment by Nespresso and TechnoServe in South Sudan’s coffee sector, even while the conflict is ongoing, is providing much-needed income for hundreds of farmers and their families.” As with espresso, sometimes all that is needed is a quick shot to get things going.

TIME celebrities

Hugh Jackman on Building a Coffee Empire: ‘It’s Advocacy, and It’s Also Entrepreneurism’

Premiere Of Dukale's Dream
Robin Marchant—2015 Getty Images NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Actor Hugh Jackman attends the premiere of Dukale's Dream on June 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for The 7th Floor)

Hugh Jackman's coffee side project is the subject of a new documentary

Australians, according to Hugh Jackman, are “arrogant” about their coffee—but Jackman’s interest in the beverage has taken a turn that’s both altruistic and entrepreneurial.

Last week saw the limited opening of the documentary Dukale’s Dream, which charts a trip Jackman took to Ethiopia, where he met the coffee farmer that inspired the film’s title and learned about fair trade. Dukale’s name is also on one of the blends of Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee that as of last week became available in pods via Keurig Green Mountain; there are two Laughing Man cafes in New York City and a Laughing Man Foundation.

TIME talked with Jackman—who insisted he couldn’t tell us whether or not he’s going to show up in X-Men: Apocalypse—about the documentary and his coffee-related goals.

TIME: The documentary traces your journey to understanding. Was that always the way you conceived it?
Hugh Jackman: It originally began as probably a 15 to 20 minute short film highlighting the work of World Vision. In Australia, I don’t know if they have them here, they are a lot of World Vision specials. And [Tim Costello] said, let’s tell the story of coffee because actually that’s a really practical way people can, on a daily basis, make a massive difference. I had no idea six years later the ending of that story would be a major launch with Keurig Green Mountain with Dukale’s name on the brand of the coffee.

Obviously the documentary shows your relationship with Dukale. Was that an instant thing?
I just felt a connection with him. We didn’t speak the same language. I worked with him. He would laugh at me because he could tell I was struggling a little bit at times. I’m an actor, after all—I’m not used to real hard work.

Do you still keep in touch with him?
We write letters to each other.

About?
First of all he has two trees there named after my kids. He wrote to me a couple years back that they’re bearing beans, and he said you’ve got to come out and harvest some beans.

How do you balance entrepreneurship and advocacy?
I see a meld with those. With Paul Newman I saw a really practical strong, powerful way to use his capital of his profile for incredible good beyond his life. That company continues to grow. In its pure form, I believe in capitalism too, so I love the idea that Paul Newman has created a great product. As an actor I had no idea I was going to be famous—you can’t bank on that. It wasn’t my goal. It happens and all of a sudden people approach you: You could be an ambassador! You could be a patron! You could do this! That’s valuable, but next to the model I saw from Paul Newman, not nearly as valuable. Not that you’ve just got your name on it—you can create something that can create jobs as well as really give back to the growers like Dukale. We buy from Dukale and his beans are in our cafe right now in Tribeca. We make sure he gets a great price, and also you can provide jobs. That’s why I love this project in particular. So in a way it’s advocacy, and it’s also entrepreneurism and that’s something we would like to foster more of.

People are coffee aficionados. Were you interested in coffee?
“Snob” is the word I’d use. Coffee snob. I’m Australian—we love our coffee and we’re a little arrogant about it. That’s why one of the reasons we have the cafe there, so I could get a really good flat white in the city. The coffee house in Australia is that kind of meeting place. There’s a slightly different atmosphere in a cafe in Australia and the coffee’s slightly different. We’ve tried to emulate that.

TIME

Dunkin’ Donuts on Your Doorstep? CEO Says Yes

Dunkin Donuts delivery
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Dunkin' Donuts hints at possible on-demand food delivery test.

Somewhere, Homer Simpson is very happy

It’s time to make the donuts. And then deliver them to your doorstep.

Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis told CNBC that the restaurant chain, which is already developing mobile ordering, also sees on-demand food delivery as “a big opportunity.” According to Travis, the trend in the U.S. “is convenience. So I think delivery plays very strongly.”

While the doughnut and coffee maker is signaling plans to someday test delivery and mobile ordering, it is already trailing rival Starbucks, which is already experimenting with both concepts through pilot programs. Starbucks in March expanded mobile ordering — a way for customers to place and order on an app and then pick it up at a Starbucks — across much of the Pacific Northwest. It is also testing delivery in Seattle and in New York City’s Empire State building.

Other food and beverage makers are jumping on the bandwagon. Chipotle has mobile ordering already, while Yum Brands’ executives say there is potential for delivery for the Taco Bell and KFC restaurant chains.

Tech investments could be just the jolt Dunkin’ Donuts needs. The company’s U.S. same-store sales grew just 1.6% for fiscal 2014, lagging the 6% jump Starbucks reported for the Americas region for its latest fiscal year. Results were better in the first quarter of this year, boosted by higher restaurant traffic and increased spending when customers visited the company’s restaurants.

More: Read about Starbucks in the latest Fortune 500 list

TIME celebrities

Watch Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Having a Mini Seinfeld Reunion

Yay for Jerry and Elaine

In the sixth season premiere of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Julia Louis-Dreyfus have a mini Seinfeld reunion when the latter hops into Seinfeld’s car to grab some coffee. And not just any car: a 1964 Aston Martin that is, as Seinfeld puts it, “dapper, distinguished, deadly,” yada yada yada. More importantly, Seinfeld’s driving the model because, he explains, Louis-Dreyfus is “the James Bond of comedy.”

During their expedition, the two run into Hilary Swank, do plenty of reminiscing about Seinfeld—”Remember this?” Seinfeld repeatedly asks as he gives Louis-Dreyfus several hugs—and stop, not just for coffee, but for a meal. Stick around to hear Louis-Dreyfus talk about her week spent scooping ice cream for an 18-year-old who looked 40, Seinfeld contemplate whether to ask for hotter coffee, and Louis-Dreyfus pause their trip down memory lane to ask Seinfeld’s wife about how to better shop on Net-a-Porter.

“And by the way, thank you for training him to become a human being,” she tells Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica. “You’re really making me miss the show now,” Seinfeld jokes in response.

Check out the full episode above.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Weird Coffee Trends You Should Know About

man-making-drip-coffee
Getty Images

When you're not in a hurry, try pour over

Americans are certifiably obsessed with coffee. Nearly 60% of Americans age 18 and up report they drink coffee on any given day, according to the National Coffee Association’s 2015 trends report, with this year’s Zagat coffee survey finding that the number of people with a daily habit is more like 80%.

As you’ve probably heard, the potential health benefits of coffee are many: it’s been linked with helping weight loss, and possibly even slashing your risk for diseases like diabetes and cancer. It may also boost your calorie-burn during a workout, making it the perfect pre-gym drink. While this definitely doesn’t mean you should drink coffee non-stop, you can feel great about your daily fix.

These days it’s not just your regular mug of hot and (deliciously) bitter goodness: Over a third of Americans are now choosing gourmet coffee beverages. And there are a number of trendy new ways to prepare the beverage.

Here are five buzzing ways to enjoy java, along with what you should know about each.

Pour over

The first time I saw this method I thought, hmmm, so this is just a low-tech way of making a brew? (e.g. no machine plugged into an outlet). But nope, there’s more to it than that. In a nutshell pour over involves placing freshly ground beans into a rinsed filter, within a filter holder or cone, which is placed over a vessel. Connoisseurs say that wetting the grounds, then continuously pouring water (heated to a precise temperature, usually 200 degrees) from a kettle methodically and slowly (we’re talking four minutes or so) over the grounds, rather than “flooding” them, extracts more flavor. When using this meticulous method some baristas also utilize scales and timers. Pour over has been referred to as “theater” because it’s quite entertaining to watch. I have to admit, I really enjoy the “show” myself when I’m not in a hurry for my cup, that is.

Cold brew

With cold brewing, time replaces heat: instead of five or 10 minutes of brewing with hot water, you steep coffee grounds in cold or room temp water for 12 hours or more before filtering them out. Because the coffee never comes into contact with hot water, certain oils and fatty acids, which can only be extracted by heat, are left behind in the grounds. Cold brewing fans say this results in coffee that’s smoother and less bitter.

Cold brew also tends to have less caffeine. For example, 16 ounces of Starbucks unsweetened cold brew contains around 165 mg of caffeine, compared to 330 mg in the same sized cup of dark roast. So if you’re looking for less intensityboth in buzz and in bitternessthis may be your brew. Just don’t confuse cold brew with regular iced coffee, which is typically made from hot coffee that’s been chilled or poured over ice.

Single-origin

Coffee makers often blend beans to create more complexity. For example, they might mix a bean with great flavor with another that has a fantastic aroma, or combine beans with varying flavor profiles. “Single-origin” means coffee made from beans grown in one geographical region, or even a specific farm, instead.

The benefit for the coffee-connoisseur? You get to experience the unique qualities imparted from just one source of beans, which are affected by things like climate, soil, elevation, biodiversity, and growing techniques. Beans from one farm in Ethiopia will have very different characteristics from those grown in Brazil, or Guatemala, and serious coffee lovers appreciate the nuances.

Two other key reasons single-origin coffee has become more popular involve sustainability and traceability. As coffee buyers develop relationships with specific coffee growers, farmers are often able to receive higher prices for their crops, use more environmentally-friendly farming techniques, and keep their land healthier, all of which help to improve the well-being of communities, and foster sustainability. Food enthusiasts are also much more interested in knowing exactly where their food comes from now, and choosing single origin can allow coffee drinkers to learn about the specific farm or farmers that produced their coffee, even if they are many miles away.

Edible coffee

Several years ago munching on a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans inspired me to whip some coffee grounds into a cherry almond smoothie (which was Ah-mazing), and I’ve been experimenting with baking and cooking with coffee ever since. It’s become a pretty hot culinary trend, and there are countless way to get creative in the kitchen. Try brewed coffee as the liquid in dishes ranging from oatmeal to a marinade. You can also use coffee grounds as a rub for meat, add it to pudding, yogurt, brownies or cookies, or in a myriad of savory dishes, like chili, and black bean soup.

Bulletproof

Bulletproof Coffee is a concoction created by a tech entrepreneur named Dave Asprey. The controversial formula involves a combination of proprietary coffee, grass fed butter, and a Bulletproof branded “Brain Octane Oil” made with coconut and/or palm kernel, which are rich in a type of fat shown in some research to boost satiety and your ability to burn calories. While grass-fed butter is certainly better for you than its conventional counterpart, proponents of this coffee drink (and the diet) recommend sipping it as a breakfast substitute.

Personally I do not advise trading a healthy breakfast like an organic veggie and avocado omelet, or oats with fruit and nuts, which provide a much broader spectrum of nutrients, for coffee alone, with about 400 calories from butter and oil. While drinking the coffee by itself is supposed to be connected to its weight loss benefits (coming from the zero carb and high fat content), I have seen people shed 25, 50, even 100 pounds eating healthy, balanced meals that include reasonable portions of “good” carbs. So in short, my biggest concern about the coffee isn’t so much its ingredients, but what you’re giving up for them.

Now that you’ve got the skinny on these trends, it’s up to you what you brew next.

Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

More from Health.com:

TIME Coffee

Early Morning is Actually the Worst Time to Drink Coffee

Coffee Cup
Getty Images

Is coffee no longer giving you an energy boost in the morning? Here's why

Every so often, science disproves the thinking behind a deeply embedded habit we have. The latest: drinking coffee in the morning.

It turns out, the morning is actually one of the worst times of the day to drink coffee, according to YouTube science channel ASAP Science. The reason? The high levels of cortisol in our bodies early in the morning.

You see, consuming caffeine when cortisol levels are high creates two problems. One is that caffeine interferes with the body’s production of cortisol, a hormone that’s released in response to stress and low blood glucose. The body ends up producing less cortisol, and relying more on caffeine to compensate.

The other effect of drinking coffee in the morning is well-known to habitual morning drinkers: It increases the person’s tolerance to caffeine because it replaces the natural cortisol-induced boost instead of adding to it.

Bear in mind that cortisol levels are high at three times of the day, not just early in the morning, according to a 2009 study. So the best times to drink coffee — or caffeine in general — is between 10 a.m. and noon, and between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Early morning coffee drinkers should consider adjusting their schedule to better optimize their caffeine intake. As pleasant as a cup o’ joe may be first thing in the morning, turns out it’s quite ineffective.

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