Java, oh sweet java… If you are like me, that first coffee every morning is essential to start a good, productive day. I also take comfort (pride?) that I may be doing something good for my health as some studies suggest. On the other hand, I tend to become jittery and anxious if I over do it with caffeinated drinks during the day. Too much caffeine often interferes with a good night’s sleep.
So, Where is the Balance?
Part of the answer is in your DNA.
CYP1A2, is a key caffeine-metabolizing enzyme that comes in a couple of different versions. One makes people “fast metabolizers” while other versions of the CYP1A2 enzyme are slower at processing caffeine leading to a “slow metabolizer” status. What this means is that fast metabolizer individuals are more likely to tolerate larger amounts of caffeine in their body without the negative side effects while slow metabolizers will not.
More About Caffeine.
In addition to coffee and caffeinated sodas, many over the counter medications contain caffeine. The effects of caffeine vary widely between individuals, depending on age, weight, and pregnancy status, among many other factors. On average, the maximum effect of caffeine lasts for 4 to 6 hours. However, in pregnant women this effect can last up to 15 hours. More useful information about caffeine can be found here. Make a habit of reading the labels to better understand what goes into your body.
By: Adrian Vilalta, PhD