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When You Drink Coffee Can Make a Big Difference in How It Affects You

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As much as coffee lovers enjoy the taste of their favorite beverage, the real allure of the first morning cup is that caffeine jolt it provides.

However, U.S. neuroscientist Steven Miller says coffee drinkers may be inadvertently robbing themselves of the full effect of that eye-opening kick based on the time they quaff their morning joe.

Miller, a Ph.D. student at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland, maintains that caffeine delivers more of a jolt during low levels of the body’s hormone cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone.”

Therefore, Miller says the best time to drink coffee is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. as opposed to when cortisol levels are higher such as between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., lunchtime and from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

One important caveat: Miller concedes that not everyone is the same so cortisol levels could be lower during different day parts, particularly if people are very early risers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio