It's the way countless people around the world start their day.  But did you know that when you drink your coffee has an impact on how you function?
FEMAIL spoke to the Sydney-based dietitian and nutritionist, Lyndi Cohen, for her tips on when to drink your caffeine, when to avoid it and how much you should - in an ideal world - be consuming.

According to Ms Cohen, while you might reach for a cup of coffee pretty much as soon as you wake up, it's a better idea to save your coffee consumption for a bit later:  'When you first wake up, your cortisol levels are at their peak,' she told Daily Mail Australia.  

'Caffeine impacts on your body's production of cortisol levels. When you drink coffee first thing in the morning, your body produces less cortisol and you become dependent on caffeine for your energy kick.

'This may explain why you feel addicted or a need to drink it first thing in the morning.'

Ms Cohen said it's a far better idea to save your cup for mid morning - or between 10am and 12pm, when your cortisol levels have come down again.
She added that you should ideally have finished with coffee by lunchtime, however, switching to herbal teas or de-caf options throughout the afternoon:
'Every person has a different tolerance for caffeine, but as a general rule of thumb and for a quality night of rest, don't have a cup at least six hours before you go to sleep,' she said.  'I'd recommend 2pm as the latest time for a coffee.'

Interestingly, Ms Cohen said that coffee can have a positive effect on your workout, if consumed prior to exercise:  'It's true that drinking coffee before exercise can help you to lift heavier weights, do more reps or run faster,' she said.  'Many studies suggest that having caffeine before a workout can improve your performance and energy levels.' 
Diamond shaped chocolate - creamy coffee; white chocolates - buttercream and the green line chocolates - lime and basil. Picture: Karen Sandison
Because coffee is quickly absorbed by the bloodstream, Ms Cohen advocates drinking it 30 minutes before a workout:  'Studies have shown that caffeine may help to boost metabolism by 3-11 per cent, helping you burn fat,' she added.

Last but not least, how much coffee is too much coffee? 
'You need to avoid having more than 400mg of caffeine each day, the equivalent of 2-3 takeaway coffees or four homemade,' Ms Cohen said. 
'It is worth remembering that people are sensitive to different amounts, however, and to try to know yours.'

Lyndi Cohen is a Sydney-based dietitian and nutritionist.

Daily Mail