How long does coffee last when you drink it?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long does coffee last when you drink it” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes for the effect of coffee to last in your system. Moreover, we are going to discuss the effect of caffeine on sleep and whether or not a person can develop resistance against caffeine.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does coffee last when you drink it?

Caffeine, the main constituent of the coffee has a half-life of about 5 hours in an average adult body according to the stats provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This means that half of the caffeine, as well as half of its effect, is gone within the first 5 hours.

One thing to keep in mind is that there is a direct relation between the amount of coffee you are utilizing and the time for which its effect lasts. 

If you are taking a higher dose of caffeine then it will remain in your system for a long and subsequently, its effect will last for a longer time.

So what caffeine does is that as soon as you drink a cup of coffee and the caffeine finds its way to your bloodstream, it reaches the brain and binds to the adenosine receptors. 

Now when caffeine has bound with the adenosine receptors, the adenosine won’t find the receptors to attach to, thus it won’t be able to carry out its function.

Now the question arises “What is the function of adenosine?” and “How blocking adenosine activity is related to alertness and attention?” Adenosine is the neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep cycle and also has an impact on the level of alertness and attention. So what adenosine does is that as soon as it gets attached to its receptor, it sends the signal to the brain that now it’s time to sleep.

Now in the scenario, where caffeine has blocked all the adenosine receptors, adenosine won’t be able to carry out its function, thus you will be focused and will stay awake.

Moreover, the coffee also contains dopamine that is a brain stimulator, and helps you to stay focused and alert. Caffeine increases the cortisol and adrenaline secretion in the body that results in increased heart rate, breathing rate, and mental alertness. Moreover, it also helps you to focus and stay awake by stimulating your nervous system. 

A study conducted at the John Hopkins University also pointed out that the people that consumed 200 mg of coffee had better focusing power and memory than those who did not consume the coffee. 

Caffeine is a stimulant and it stimulates the body functions including the brain functioning by stimulating the central nervous system.

Can a person build up tolerance against coffee?

When a person uses coffee regularly, they sometimes become immune or resistant to the effect of coffee. It is just like the phenomenon of drug resistance where people develop resistance against a particular drug that they use for a long time.

But in the case of people that are sensitive to caffeine, the effect of coffee lingers for a long time.

How does caffeine affect sleep?

The caffeine present in the coffee binds with the adenosine receptors and stops the adenosine from carrying out its function. 

The adenosine induces sleepiness by sending signals to your brain. So when adenosine won’t be able to bind with its receptor, it won’t be able to carry out its function, thereby you will stay awake. 

Therefore it is advised that you should never drink coffee before bedtime as the caffeine present in the coffee starts working very quickly as it can easily pass the epithelial layer lining the mouth, throat, and stomach to reach the blood. So it takes about 30-60 minutes for the caffeine present in the coffee to reach its peak level and provide you with a surge of energy. 

Therefore it will make you alert and attentive, thereby disturbing your sleep cycle. Moreover consuming an excessive amount of coffee can induce insomnia in people that are sensitive to caffeine.

As the excessive intake of coffee or tea can increase your overall caffeine intake that can cause some health problems like bloating, gas, etc., therefore, it is recommended to limit your daily caffeine intake to 300 mg.

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine

Coffee

Tea

Beverages

Energy drinks

Chocolate

Chocolate or coffee-flavored ice creams

Guarana seeds and beverages

Certain protein and energy bars

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does coffee last when you drink it” with an in-depth analysis of the time it takes for the effect of coffee to last in your system. Moreover, we discussed the effect of caffeine on sleep and whether or not a person can develop resistance against caffeine.

Citations

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321784

https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/caffeine#concentration

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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