This Is a Timeline of What Caffeine Does In Your Body

Caffeine and for many, coffee, in particular, is a life force. It’s a drug with legitimately addictive properties, affecting our bodies in such a powerful way that once we become accustomed to consuming it, we physically need more of it. Our body and brain quickly gain a higher level of tolerance, needing more and more just to attain the expected results. And after a while we all come to a point where we no longer can use caffeine for a boost, rather just to get back to a new baseline energy level. This is when the final step in the addiction process takes over: once your body is accustomed to having its regular dose of caffeine, withdrawal symptoms occur on the days you go too long without it. You could wake up and even consider skipping your morning cup of Joe and before you know it, a headache starts to creep in, ruining your day until you finally get your hands on an espresso.

Many people are very familiar with this longterm process of coffee and caffeine consumption but we’re not all as familiar with the process in which your body consumes a single cup of coffee in the morning and throughout the day. Starting with that first sip, and then…

10 minutes later:

The first molecules of caffeine reach your brain and start binding to its adenosine receptors. By this point you are already starting to feel more alert.

30 minutes later:

The impacts of caffeine and chlorogenic acid start working together to suppress your appetite. This is especially true if you’re drinking a lighter roast that is higher in chlorogenic acid. Your body also burns fat faster at this point, which is one of coffee’s more desired effects for many.

45 minutes later:

The absorption of caffeine has peaked now. Your brain’s alertness and reaction time quickens and you find yourself doing everything just a little more efficiently and with heightened focus. This is a great time for simpler, menial tasks, though.

1 hour later:

Your brain releases dopamine and you’re suddenly in a great mood.

2-8 hours later:

Caffeine is gradually breaking down in this period. Here you’ll find you feel a more even energy burn, which is the ideal time to take on the more complex and difficult tasks of your day. However, everybody metabolizes caffeine at a different rate. For those that are particularly caffeine-sensitive, it’s the period in which a caffeine crash occurs. This is why and when some are directed to drink green tea, as it has a lighter, longer burn and isn’t as likely to bring on a crash.

12 hours later:

You probably feel close to a normal level of energy again at this point as your body has most likely metabolized the caffeine. For most, the effects have worn off, half a day after that very first sip.

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