Ever have those days when you wake up groggy and feel cranky about the smallest of details? For a lot of people, the thing that helps kickstart their morning, and bring them out of that sleepy state, is coffee. Coffee contains caffeine, which is classified as a drug called “stimulants”. Stimulants like caffeine block a substance in our brain called adenosine and keeps us from falling asleep.
The science behind caffeine is good and all, but how long does caffeine take to kick in?
After drinking a cup of coffee, you can expect the caffeine to hit in about a few minutes. Some sources say it peaks around 30 to 60 minutes, others claim that you can start feeling it at around 10 minutes (although, they also claimed that the peak point of caffeine will be at 45 minutes.) The time when coffee hits depend on how tolerant a person is to caffeine. But it’s best to expect that the coffee will start to affect a person around the 15-45 minute mark.
For people who are tolerant to coffee, either because they have built it up over time or are just lucky, the effects may seem minimal and they would need a few more milligrams just to feel something. But for people who are more sensitive to caffeine, the effects can be pretty strong, so much that it can even go for a whole day or two.
Obviously, the first thing you can expect after drinking coffee is feeling awake. This may not apply to everyone, but generally speaking, coffee’s job is to make you feel alert and to get rid of those sleepy feelings. You may also pee a lot because coffee is a natural diuretic. There are also other side effects, especially if you drink more than one cup in a short time, like jittering, heart palpitations, insomnia, anxiety, and bowel movements.
The last one is purely anecdotal, but the point is that coffee can hit pretty hard, especially if you drank too much or are sensitive to caffeine. While coffee is safe for adults, drinking more than 6 cups in a day can lead to something called “caffeinism”. Similar to drugs and alcohol, coffee can be pretty addictive and people can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop drinking coffee for a period of time.
It can be, but only if consumed in large amounts. You know you have consumed a lot if you are experiencing symptoms such as headaches, irregular heartbeats, agitation, and a ringing in the ear. Large doses of coffee are also not safe for people with heart diseases as they can harm their hearts and may even trigger an attack.
Again though, you don’t have to be scared of coffee. This only happens in extreme cases where people drink a lot of caffeinated drinks within a short amount of time.
Coffee’s half-life in the body is around 5 to 6 hours. If you drank around 20 mg of caffeine at 8 am, the caffeine in your body will go down around 50% at around 1 or 2 pm. That’s good if you only drink coffee in the day, but bad if you decide to drink coffee in the afternoon or night. There is no specific time limit as to how long the effects will last. It all depends on the person’s body and sensitivity to caffeine.
There are some ways to flush caffeine out of your system. You can wait it out, but if you are in dire need of removing caffeine from your body, the first step is drinking water. Coffee can dry your body, so it’s a good idea to stay hydrated. Plus, peeing removes the excess caffeine swimming in your blood. Exercise also makes the body metabolize caffeine faster. So if you don’t mind getting sweaty, go for a jog or do some cardio. Finally, if you are feeling jittery, try drinking non-caffeinated herbal tea. Teas like chamomile will not only neutralize the coffee but it also has therapeutic benefit to it. It’s a win-win!
Coffee is good, especially when you get to feel the effects of alertness flowing through you. Coffee can hit you quickly but the high can also disappear just as fast. But don’t fall into the trap of drinking too much, or you will experience a lot of negative side effects. In moderation, coffee is safe and a good way to get you through a Monday morning, as long as you fuel your body with other good food and water too.