Coffee — you love it, you need it — you may be drinking a cup right now as you read this. You know caffeine makes you feel more alert and revved up to work — but there are surprising ways coffee can actually boost your performance on essential tasks if you consume it strategically.

Try these science-based tips and tricks to be at your best with the help of that cup of joe.

Smell your coffee before you sip it.

Researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology report that the scent of coffee can powerfully boost your ability to ace analytical tasks, such as tackling math. Inhale that scent before you next work on those project budgets.

Drink hot brew coffee instead of cold brew.

A study from Thomas Jefferson University found that hot brew contains higher levels of antioxidants, which are key for boosting your brain power.

How can boosting your antioxidant intake specifically help your job performance? Antioxidants are thought to improve memory skills, so drinking a cup of hot brew before you need to remember the details of a project prior to an important team progress meeting.

Use coffee smartly to keep your stamina high.

According to research from the University of Georgia, a cup of coffee before physical activity can improve your endurance and stamina. Drink a cup right before heading out on strenuous business travel, before a physically demanding task, or right before giving a presentation when you need to harness all the energy you can.

Since the study measured this effect in athletes, you can also consume coffee before taking a power walk to refresh yourself at lunchtime.

Front-load your consumption.

Try not to drink coffee after noon if possible. Not only will timing your cups early maximize your energy at the start of your day when you really need to power yourself, but avoiding caffeine late will help you sleep better.

If you really need an afternoon boost, drink up no later than 2 p.m.

Know when not to overdo it.

When you feel yourself getting stressed rather than energized by that extra cup, put it down — we all have our limits when it comes to caffeine consumption. Listen to your body, and also note whether too much coffee is making you feel stressed — your feelings clearly dictate your limit.

What's more, a study from the University of South Australia found that six or more coffees per day can increase your risk of heart disease by 22%. Moderation is key — to both staying healthy and ensuring your best performance!