Can you down an espresso right before bed without blinking an eye or does a cup of java at 8 a.m. keep you jittery for hours and interrupt your sleep that night?
Caffeine tolerance is just like food tolerance, it’s different for everyone. The average individuals ‘half life’ of caffeine in the body is 8 hours, meaning if the run-of-the-mill person ingests 200mg of caffeine (a fairly standard cup) they will have 100mg floating around in their bloodstream 8 hours later. 8 hours after that there will be 50mg hanging around and so on…
As far as finding out how your body handles caffeine there are a couple ways to go about it.
The simplest route being a standard experiment in which you pay attention to two messages your body gives you.
Dose – if two espresso shots leave you anxious and shaky give one a try and see how you do.
Timing – If caffeine at noon tends to interrupt your sleep and keep you up at night try bumping it back to 10 a.m. in order to give your body more time to clear the stuff.
The other option you can go for is genetic testing, 23 & Me is massively popular these days, it will tell you how you personally detoxify caffeine as well as a bunch of other genetic markers you may be interested in. The test costs around $200, currently I’m waiting for my results and I’ll most likely write an article about my experience so if you’re on the fence you may want to hold off until then.
I didn’t touch on the digestibility of caffeine because it can come in a number of different forms other than coffee such as pop, energy drinks, pre-workout beverages, tablets and the list goes on.
In closing, caffeine dosing as well as timing is going to vary from person to person so pay attention to what your body is telling you and it’s tough to go wrong. If you’re having a hard time identifying your specific response consider some testing and if you just don’t care keep drankin’ your heavenly java beverage daily!