Why Caffeine Doesn’t Affect You And What You Can Do About It

a man leaning on a table with a cup of coffee in his hands asking himself why caffeine doesn't affect me

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Have you ever wondered why some people receive an increase in energy from coffee while you sit there, asking yourself why caffeine doesn’t affect me?

There are many reasons why caffeine will effect people differently.

It’s not complicated to understand; caffeine interacts with your brain and brings out chemical changes. 

These chemical changes are bought on by neurotransmitters and complex receptors. One thing about the human body is every single individual shares a different gene structure. 

While some genes might allow caffeine to increase their energy output, others are too strong to get affected by it. Genes aren’t the only cause of caffeine tolerance; there are other reasons as well, and you can genuinely undo them. 

Not to worry, we have concluded every possible reason for why caffeine doesn’t affect you anymore and how to get that jittery feeling back again. 

We also explain what caffeine is and how it creates certain actions in our body, and its pros and cons. 

If you want that positive jolt back again, read along to stimulate your body with alertness, Dopamine, and sharpness.

caffeine molecule structure (atomic model) with the word caffeine written at the bottom out of coffee beans.

What Exactly Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a LEGAL psychoactive drug consumed by millions of people all around the world. Despite its stimulating effects on the brain, caffeine is not regulated, is consumed in high volume, and is generally considered as safe (GRAS) 

Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by blocking adenosine receptors that bring sleepiness in individuals and releases dopamine hormones to give you the random jolt of energy. 

It’s an alkaloid and resembles some parts of the DNA and RNA. Caffeine has many health benefits, including energy boost, reducing/killing cancerous cell growth, kicking-off sleep, helping you lose weight, etc. 

Caffeine also has many dangerous psychological side-effects, including anxiety, loss of sleep/insomnia, depression, withdrawal symptoms, addiction, etc. 

Thus, it’s recommended to consume caffeine in a limited quantity.

It’s advised not to consume more than 400mg of caffeine in a single day and to do it in multiple doses.

Above 500mg can lead to serious health issues and or an overdose if consumed at once. 

The popular caffeine sources are coffee beans, black tea, teas, cola, cocoa, chocolate bars, energy drinks, etc. Coffee beans are the highest caffeine source and are considered one of the most consumed beverages in the world. 

A cup of coffee can have 80-150mg (Sometimes more) of caffeine. Limit your daily intake to 3-5 numbers depending on the caffeine in the mug. 

Can Someone Be Immune To Caffeine?

Heavy caffeine users will build a tolerance after prolonged consumption. With time, your body and brain start to become immune to the effects of caffeine, and the effects will diminish after a while.

Universally, caffeine or any drug/food can feel good/taste good/satisfy your brain when consumed in a limited quantity. When consumed daily and heavily, your brain adapts to the effects leading to no alter-boost and withdrawal symptoms. 

A study suggested when heavy coffee drinkers stopped drinking coffee for 16 hours and were again given 100mg of caffeine, they didn’t feel a jolt of energy but instead felt normal and recovered from the withdrawal symptoms. 

When heavy drinkers do not consume coffee, they deal with withdrawal effects. These effects include sleepiness (ironic), anxiety, hyperventilation, longing, depression, etc.  

The second popular group of people who are immune to coffee is people with different genetics than others.

These genetic changes may include non-sticky adenosine receptors that cannot hold onto caffeine. The second genetic alteration is fast enzymes that metabolize caffeine in the liver.

We’ll study this more in detail ahead. 

Tired college student

Reasons Caffeine Doesn’t Affect You.

As stated above, too much caffeine consumption and genetics can affect how you will experience the effects of caffeine.

Many other reasons can cause you to have diminished results. 

Some of these effects are in your hands for you to change, and others are permanent.

While you cannot change your genes, you can always switch to healthier choices to feel better.

Avoid these simple unhealthy life decisions. These will allow you to experience caffeine’s positive impact and bring new changes to your life. 

Not enough sleep

Ironically, sleep can reduce the effect of caffeine because, after all, getting rid of sleep is one of the extensive effects of caffeine. When you consume too much coffee, lack of sleep is inevitable. 

Continuous lack of sleep for 3-4 days starts to reduce the effect of caffeine.

How?

After consuming too much caffeine, sleep deprivation is the most significant side-effect. Unfortunately, when your eyes beg to be closed, your brain starts to release more adenosine to try and force you to sleep. 

Now It’s war.

The more caffeine you consume to block adenosine, the more adenosine your brain will produce. 

Caffeine must be consumed moderately with a healthy diet. Lack of sleep will only bring out the negative side-effects of caffeine. So, drink it when you need to get rid of unwanted tiredness in the morning or afternoon.

Don’t consume coffee at night or when you are excessively drained emotionally, physically, and mentally. Rest is equally essential for your body, and your brain will do everything to provide it to you every day.

You’re drinking too much caffeine.

Too much of anything is never good. When you consume too much caffeine, you allow your brain to adapt to it.

When your brain calculates the adverse effects of too much caffeine, it starts to become resistant to caffeine and its effects altogether. That being said, too much caffeine leads to withdrawal symptoms. 

When a heavy caffeine drinker is asked to go cold turkey (get rid of caffeine for the minor period), they witness withdrawal symptoms.

These withdrawal symptoms occur because your body longs to be caffeinated with Dopamine, an energy boost, and no laziness. 

Unfortunately, heavy drinkers get immune to caffeine, and it soon stops working as a stimulator.

After a period, caffeine only regulates your body to the standard degree and suppresses the withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, depression, sleepiness, etc. 

Heavy drinkers can no longer experience the jolts of energy or the boost of Dopamine; it’s just an average coping mechanism from the withdrawal symptoms of too much caffeine. 

So, limit your caffeine to up to 400mg per day to experience the increased Dopamine without the adverse side effects.

Also, drink caffeine in incremental doses of 100mg throughout the day. Don’t consume all 400mg of caffeine in one sitting. 

Young happy business man holding a funny huge and oversized cup of black coffee in caffeine addiction concept isolated on even background

You are not drinking enough caffeine.

Caffeine starts to kick in your central nervous system very quickly. Once you consume coffee, expect it to start functioning within an hour or even less.

60mg of caffeine lasts for 30-60 minutes. Now, although an hour of dopamine pump is enough, it takes time for the caffeine to kick in. 

As stated, caffeine takes 30-45 minutes to absorb into your bloodstream. So, half of the time is wasted waiting for it to kick in. This means you will not be getting enough energy because you might not be consuming enough caffeine. 

Sometimes, you might order a large coffee but experience little to no energy. Different types of brewed coffee will have various amounts of caffeine. 

  • Espresso is a small beverage but has a caffeine content of 64mg, and it’s only one ounce.
  • Drip coffee is a larger beverage and has 100-120mg caffeine. Drip coffees are usually 8oz in volume. 
  • Tea has even less caffeine. A tea usually has 40-60mg caffeine or even less. 
  • Hot cocoa: 14mg caffeine
  • Fermented tea: 10mg

So, you might think you’re drinking a highly caffeinated beverage but less in reality it may not be enough to wake you up.

A precise amount of caffeine to consume per dose is 100mg to have lasting effects. 100mg of caffeine stays in your system for 5 hours. 

Your specific genetics

Genetics always plays an essential role while determining the effect of coffee on your brain and body.

Once you drink coffee, 

  • Caffeine enters your bloodstream through the stomach and intestine. 
  • It travels throughout your body in the bloodstream. 
  • Once reaching the brain, it meets the adenosine receptors. These receptors are responsible for sleep. Caffeine attaches/binds itself to these receptors and travels south to the liver. 
  • The liver is where caffeine is metabolized and broken into smaller substances. 

Two essential genetic involvements occur.

  • When caffeine sticks to adenosine receptors. 
  • When caffeine reaches the liver for metabolism. 

Adenosine receptors

Genetics leads to different structured adenosine receptors. Some individuals will have very sticky receptors that will trap caffeine easily. Others might not be as sticky and not attach to caffeine properly. 

When caffeine doesn’t stick to receptors easily, it cannot correctly block them from inducing sleep. Thus, people with less sticky receptors might not get affected by caffeine. 

Caffeine metabolism

The second genetic issue that affects caffeine consumption and its effect is caffeine’s metabolism. CPY1A2 is an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of caffeine. 

Individuals have different genes for these enzymes. Some individuals have less capable CPY1A2 enzymes than others. 

People with less active CPY1A2 enzymes will metabolize caffeine slower than people with more active enzymes.

The slower the metabolism of caffeine is, the longer it will affect your body with Dopamine and blocking adenosine. People with fast caffeine metabolism will break down caffeine faster, thereby killing its effects sooner. 

Slow metabolism: more prolonged effect of caffeine. 

Faster metabolism: a smaller period of caffeine boost or none. 

Moderate metabolism: Metabolism with standard functionality will have a moderate effect of caffeine on the body and brain. 

Your tolerance is too high.

With prolonged exposure to coffee, faster metabolism, and non-sticky receptors, your body soon starts to build up a tolerance against caffeine. This happens when you become a regular and avid coffee drinker or caffeine consumer. 

With everyday caffeine, your brain becomes tolerant by creating more sleep receptors and speeding up your metabolism. 

Once your tolerance is too high, caffeine stops having zero effect whatsoever on your body and brain. You might still be having coffee, but you won’t feel that energized jolt or alertness like you used to. 

Even if you drink caffeine in a limited volume, your body will pick up against it.

You might need to drink a heavy dosage to feel that punch again, and the increased dosage won’t last long either. Every time your tolerance increases, you will demand double the amount of caffeine to feel its after-effects. 

If you have reached a particular stage where caffeine does nothing to you, and you demand a more significant portion of caffeine consumption, it’s best to take a break. 

To avoid increasing your tolerance against caffeine, limit your intake. 

  • Skip days while drinking coffee to allow your body to accept its surprising factor. 
  • For a change, drink decaf coffee if you don’t want to give up the ritual or flavor. 
  • Drink tea as a coffee substitute. Many kinds of coffee taste like tea. 
  • Switch to fermented coffee for a while. Fermented coffee has very little caffeine. 

Medical history

Caffeine has a long history of involvement with other drugs since it’s considered a drug itself. It is said and studied that caffeine can affect the absorption, assimilation, and excretion of certain drugs. 

Every drug/medication will mix with caffeine differently. Some drugs with similar effects like caffeine will increase caffeine’s capability as a drug in your body. Other drugs might suppress its activity. 

Thus, it’s essential to consult your doctor while consuming caffeine and other drugs together. Please note: Caffeine and other serious drugs can have a very negative impact on your body’s functionality. 

You might experience increased blood pressure, strokes, seizure, and heart attack. Thus, always consult your doctor before consuming your meds if you have had a record of heavy medication. It’s best to consult your doctor to find out if you can consume caffeine or not. 

Caffeine, along with other heavy meds, has been reported to increase the withdrawal symptoms rather than the positive energy boost. So, if you feel extreme discomfort mentally, anxiety attacks, severe heartbeats, and depression visit your doctor! 

You are taking supplements with caffeine in them.

Direct caffeine supplements account for 100mg-200mg consumption of caffeine in one dosing. If you take supplements with caffeine, your brain will detect it sooner as compared to coffee which is a slower process. 

If you continue to consume caffeine supplements every day, you will accelerate a tolerance against the drug. Taking caffeine supplements is different from taking caffeine through coffee, but the after-effect, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms remain the same. 

So, avoid taking caffeine supplements and coffee together because that will increase the caffeine amount in your body, leading to high tolerance, more minor effects, withdrawal symptoms, etc. 

You should either consume coffee or caffeine supplements but never both. Try to create a balance, if supplements are necessary for you, cut down coffee intake whatsoever. 

A picture of a lot of prescription pills being dumped onto a table in reference to If you have ever asked yourself why caffeine doesn't affect me it may be due to the prescriptions you are taking.

Prescription 

As said, medication and caffeine can double the effect of certain drugs and surprising effects. When combined with caffeine, most of the medicines will increase the chances of blood pressure, swelling, strokes. 

This combined drug might also result in liver dysfunctionality, overdosing, insomnia. It might also reduce the effectiveness of the medicine by 60%, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeats, hyperventilation, and other increased withdrawal symptoms. 

It’s best to consult with your doctor before consuming these medicines with caffeine. Medicines and prescriptions are necessary to benefit your health and recover from a disease. 

If caffeine does affect the effects of medicines and alters health, it’s best to let go of caffeine. If you cannot let go of coffee that quickly, drink with less-to-no caffeine, decaf coffee, etc. 

Too much sugar

Although different studies support different outcomes, no one can deny the fact that sugar makes you sleepy. You are more likely to feel sleepy after consuming a sweet dish than not. 

Sugar binds the effects of orexin, a chemical that stimulates the feeling of being awake, making you feel sleepy, tired, or lazy. So, sugar does reduce the effect of caffeine when consumed together or separately. 

When you add milk and sugar to your coffee, you are actually hindering caffeine’s positive effects, creating a sleepy, lazy effect on your brain. 

Like sugar, milk also contains tryptophan and melatonin, both these chemicals are responsible for feeling sleepy and managing the sleep-wake cycle. 

Also, heavy drinks make you feel dizzy or lazy because they contain tryptophan, which increases sleepiness in individuals. 

Please note: Sugar or milk doesn’t dilute caffeine; they only dilute the beverage. Caffeine is still present in the same quantity as before. Sugar and milk oppose the after-effect of caffeine inside the body when metabolizing.

How does caffeine work?

Once you consume caffeine through coffee, your stomach and intestine take 30-45 minutes to complete (99%) digest and absorb caffeine in the bloodstream. 

Once the caffeine is absorbed in the bloodstream, it travels throughout the body and reaches the brain. In the brain, caffeine competes with adenosine molecules. Now, before we conclude how caffeine competes and replaces adenosine, let’s know what adenosine is.

After an exhausting day, heavy workout, extensive exercise session, your brain starts to produce adenosine molecules. These molecules are keys that lock-in specific receptors to initiate their functionality. 

Adenosine (the key) is known to lock in with A1 receptors and A2A receptors. 

  • A1 receptors, when attached to adenosine, promote body relaxation and sleepiness after a tiring day. 
  • On the other hand, A2A receptors are responsible for dopamine release. Adenosine binds and blocks the functionality of A2A receptors and inhibits the production of Dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that increases your energy and gives your mood a boost. 

Caffeine is ready to compete and replace adenosine. It reaches the A1 and A2A receptors faster than adenosine and takes it space.

  • After binding to A1 receptors, caffeine inhibits the promotion of muscle relaxation and sleepiness. 
  • With A2A receptors, caffeine promotes Dopamine production, thereby giving you a surge of energy and alertness. 

Depending on the amount, caffeine can live in your system for 5-6 hours. 100mg caffeine lives for 5-6 hours, and 200mg can live for 10 hours max.

After the given period, caffeine starts to unlock from the receptors, making it possible for your adenosine receptors to become full and make you tired.

A man with a crazy look on his face figuring out what to do since he isn't affected by caffeine

What should you do if caffeine doesn’t work for you?

Caffeine isn’t the only source of energy; many things can get you through the day without that lazy or sleepy feeling.

Try waking up early in the morning. If you do not prefer meditation; run, exercise with your dog, cycle the neighborhood, or just go for a walk. Starting the day off right is a very underrated tactic to make your day positive and productive one.

The fresh breeze, sunrise, nature can stimulate your mind and body into a healthy start. There’s natural energy to it. So, build this schedule into your life and watch how eventful and energized your life turns out to be. 

Exercise daily

Exercising releases many active hormones like dopamine and serotonin. When you exercise, you are awakening your body and stimulating your muscles for the day.

Exercising is a natural anti depressant and will give you natural energy. 

It’s believed that exercising tires you, but there’s only a little truth to that. You don’t have to perform extensive exercise and gym sessions to feel energized. 

A simple brisk walk, jogging, playing with your dog, a casual Zumba session will allow you to dissipate laziness and tired muscles. With light exercising, you are not tiring your body but energizing your muscles for the day. 

When you work out, you produce extra oxygen for your muscles, and a faster and more efficient cardiovascular activity leads to a healthy breathing pattern and heart.

This can help you with caffeine’s withdrawal symptoms (irregular heartbeats and breathing, hyperventilation, etc.)  

Keep a consistent sleep schedule.

Sleep equally essential. Your brain needs rest to heal and repair itself. When you change your sleeping pattern every day, you are confusing your body and your brain. 

A human being needs seven to nine hours of sleep every day to function correctly. These nine hours do not mean you can sleep at 3 AM and then wake up at noon and then change it all over again. 

Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the morning.

This will allow your brain to set an internal clock for your sleep schedule.

If you do this for a week, you wouldn’t even need to induce sleep; it will automatically come to you and give you a peaceful rest for the day and a fresh next morning. 

Use natural herbs

Natural herbs have many health benefits, including increasing blood circulation, digestion, immunity, strength, the ability to fight off diseases like the common cold, and boost energy.

Herbs have been used for their health benefits by people for centuries. 

Before synthetic and natural medicines, herbs were used to mend human dysfunctionality like open wounds and internal issues. So, switch your daily caffeine intake with herbs. 

You must have heard of herbal teas, they are an excellent substitute for caffeine and coffee. Many herbal teas taste like coffee if you want the flavor profile without the caffeine. 

These herbal teas are 100% organic and do not contain caffeine but other stimulating hormones that boost energy. One popular compound in teas to stimulate your brain is L-theanine. 

L-theanine has a different stimulating effect on your brain than caffeine; it calmly wakes you up with a more peaceful and organized feeling. 

Other herbs that can boost energy include Ashwagandha, maca, yerba, Rhodiola rosea, peppermint, ginger, ginseng, etc. All these herbs and many others have many stimulating effects on the brain with no possible side effects. 

You can add most of these to your herbal tea if you want to start your day with a hot beverage. The tea itself is stimulating, and when you add certain stimulating herbs, it will taste better and give you the much-needed energy for the day. 

Please note: herbs can affect the consumption of medicines. If you are on continual medication, it’s best to ask your doctor if you can consume certain herbs along with the medicines without any side effects. 

A fridge full of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables. This will help you increase your energy if caffeine doesn't help you wake up.

Eat a healthy diet

Even if you don’t want the energy boost, a healthy diet must lead a healthy life. A diet rich in nutrients, fibers, healthy carbs, healthy fat, protein is essential to stay fit. 

Your diet is the primary source of energy, so it should never be compromised. Whatever food you intake accounts for the calorie you’d be needing to function correctly throughout the day. 

Foods are calories, and calories account for energy. When you don’t provide enough HEALTHY calories to your body, you are bound to be tired and sleepy because your body has no power to carry on with the day. Thus it’s essential to eat healthily. 

Start your morning with a detoxifying beverage like herbal tea or lemon water. You can have a small breakfast to boost calories like porridge. Please note: Wait for a couple of minutes, 10-20 minutes after your breakfast and then proceed to exercise. 

This waiting period will digest water and breakfast to avoid cramps while exercising. Heavy food will take longer to digest. 

The more time your body takes to process carbs, the more lousy and heavy it will feel. Avoid fatty and sweet food to keep sleep and laziness at bay in the morning. 

Stay hydrated

Water and fluids are essential and a necessity for your body. Without enough water, you will experience fatigue, low energy, withdrawal symptoms. It’s no secret that the human body is 60% water and that we cannot survive without it. 

Dehydration is when your body isn’t getting enough fluids to work appropriately, yo won’t be able to digest foods correctly, deliver nutrients to your body and you will feel tired and unmotivated.

Water and fluids do many businesses for your body that cannot be sustained without water. For instance, digestion, assimilation, absorption, boosting energy, blood circulation, transportation, etc. 

So, hydrate your body with enough fluids. If water is too much to drink all day long, increase your capacity by one glass every day. Along with water, eat juicy fruits like watermelon, oranges, etc. 

You might think coffee hydrates your body, but it’s a diuretic. Diuretic releases additional water and salt in urine. So, coffee and caffeine cannot be considered a rich supplement of water. 

Drik at least 3-4 liters of water every day. Please make sure the primary water source is actually water itself, and the rest can be filled with whole foods. 

Dehydration invites fatigue and low energy. When you keep your body hydrated, it can fight off fatigue and give you a surge of energy throughout the day. 

When you add lemon and other antioxidant-rich fruits, waterworks as a fresh start by detoxifying your body. When you detoxify your body with water, you are allowing your internal to stay healthy and cooperate every morning without stress. 

Get plenty of Sun for Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is decreases the production of melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for the sleep cycle of human beings. Thus, it’s said Vitamin D fights off sleep by hindering melatonin production in the morning. 

The sun is an excellent source of natural energy that gives you energy and it’s an excellent source of Vitamin D, and both together work as a natural energy booster. 

Many studies suggest Vitamin D boosts energy by fighting off fatigue and low energy. People with Vitamin D deficiency deal with constant muscle fatigue.

Eat Vitamin-D-rich food to reduce muscle fatigue and spend quite the time in the Sun to replenish your body with extra vitamin D. 

Spend at least 20-30 minutes in the Sun and enjoy the warmth. 

Take a nap

To work efficiently, you must rest equally! Our body demands 8-9 hours of sleep every day. Apart from that, it doesn’t hurt to snatch some extra minutes/hours now and then. 

Napping a little for half an hour or an hour lets you rest after the semi-tiring day. This nap eases away your tiredness and boosts you for the additional hours of the remaining day. 

Sometimes, your brain needs to rest to function correctly. This usually happens when you have spent hours focussing on something difficult and important that has used most of your brain’s capacity to process further. 

To ease out this slight lag and disturbance, rest your brain for 30-60 minutes. You can take a quick nap and shut your brain off, or you can just lay down and rest your eyes. 

Both are equally positive and energetic. If you are mentally and physically exhausted, it’s best to sleep for an hour. Don’t allow yourself to nap more than once because it soon will become a habit, and you will start needing sleep now and then. 

Coffee substitutes

There’s no doubt that caffeine has many health benefits, but it comes down to how readily you can accept it and how your body receives it. 

Many individuals are sensitive to coffee, and it’s not just caffeine that affects their health but the overall content coffee offers-the bitterness, acidic qualities, oily crema, and caffeine. 

All these components of coffee can be harsh to individuals with a sensitive stomach, food pipe, slow/weak digestion, blood pressure, etc. If you have finally decided to quit or put a hold on caffeine for a while, these coffee substitutes can help you let go of coffee and caffeine without losing the taste. 

Most of these coffee substitutes might have a little caffeine content, and some might be 100% caffeine-free. If you are strictly asked to prohibit caffeine, it’s best to choose products with zero caffeine in their content, like herbal teas. 

Assortment of fragrant dried teas and green tea on a dark wooden table as an alternative if caffeine doesn't affect you.

Tea

Like coffee, tea is one of the most preferred hot and cold beverages to have ever existed. Tea is the specialty of China and East Asia, but it’s valued all around the world. 

Tea is brewed just like traditional coffee by blending tea leaves with hot water and straining the end product.

Tea is a naturally stimulating beverage made from the dried leaves of camellia Sinensis, a native shrub to Asia. These leaves are cultivated and dried for tea preparation. 

Tea is similar to coffee in a lot more ways than you can think. First, they have the exact brewing mechanism and aromatic hot beverages. Plus, you can also drink iced tea, just like iced coffee. 

Not just the brewing method, tea has a very similar flavor profile to coffee as well. It’s gifted with caffeine but in less quantity. Tea is equally as bitter as coffee because of tannins. Plus, tea has slight acidic characters to its body as well. 

Along with that, different teas from all around the world have other flavor profiles. The flavor profile can have hints of nuts, fruits, earthy tones, sweet, chocolatey, etc. 

Green tea has less caffeine compared to black tea. Please avoid tea if you cannot consume caffeine at all. Compared to coffee, black tea has half the amount of caffeine or even less. 

Cocoa

Cocoa or cacao beans are the product of the Theobroma cacao tree, a small tree native to Mesoamerica. Don’t confuse these cacao beans with coffee beans because both have a different flavor profile to serve other purposes. 

Cocoa beans are used to produce chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and chocolate drinks. On the other hand, coffee beans made from coffee cherries are used to brew coffee beverages. 

But despite their purposes, both share a very similar flavor profile. Cocoa has the same nutty, earthy, flowery flavor profile but only naturally sweeter than coffee beans.

Coffee beans have the same flavor profile with slight acidic characters, bitterness, and less sweetness. Coffee beans are more fruity than cacao beans. 

You can use cacao as a coffee substitute because cacao makes some of the best hot beverages, including hot chocolate tea, choco syrup, chocolate milk, hot truffle, etc. 

It has a similar taste to coffee, only sweeter, more body, and thick. It’s bitter but not as bitter as coffee beans. Cocoa has some amount of caffeine in its content. 

A six-ounce hot cocoa beverage has only 5mg caffeine or even. 

Although this figure may differ from beverages to beverages, it can exceed 5mg but is still less than other coffee and tea beverages. 

Acorn coffee

Acorn coffee isn’t necessarily coffee, but its taste is very much similar to coffee. With a bitter-sweet earthy profile and nutty body, and the slightest hint of acidic characters, Acorn is an excellent substitute for coffee. 

Acorn is a nut found on the oak tree and resembles the structure of walnut. Acorn is very bitter until it’s leached. Leaching allows Acorn to get rid of tannins (Tannins account for the bitter taste of Acorn and most teas.)

Leaching is the process where these nuts are soaked in water, dried, and then roasted to consume as tea.

Many big tea companies use Acorn as the main component while producing coffee-like beverages. Acorn, when mixed with other coffee-like elements, creates some of the best coffee substitutes. 

After leaching, acorn sweetness can be compared to maple syrup, and its bitterness is mute but visible. Luckily, Acorn is 100% caffeine-free, and you can consume and brew it just like coffee. 

Chicory buds that you can put in to tea to give it a coffee like flavor

Add chicory to your tea/beverage.

Chicory has a profound history of being used as a coffee substitute. Chicory roots are dried and crushed to give away a similar appearance, just like the tea. To this date, french breweries still use chicory to add to the taste of the coffee. 

Chicory has a darker and more robust taste compared to dandelion roots. Dandelion roots are another substitute for coffee and belong to the same family as the chicory) 

Unlike dandelion roots, chicory has a familiar bitter-sweet taste, just like coffee. The sweetness is mild, along with many spicy and earthy undertones.

You can add chicory as an additional ingredient in your tea to make it taste more like it, or you can even add it to your decaf coffee. 

What are adenosine receptors?

Adenosine receptors are responsible for a person’s sleepiness and the blockage of dopamine. That’s not all adenosine is responsible for. Adenosine can connect to four receptors; A1 and A2A receptors are reasonably related to caffeine and caffeine’s effect on the body. 

Adenosine and receptors are two different parts of the lock. Adenosine acts and behaves as the key starter of any action. The Receptor is the lock where you attach the key. 

Receptors are transducers responsible for converting any energy into electrical impulses that further travel throughout your body for actions. They are popular proteins and are often termed as the first messenger. 

They are responsible for initiating signaling to the brain for internal effects on the body.

A1 receptors are known to send an electric impulse to the brain to create certain relaxation in the muscles and sleepiness when attached to an adenosine compound.

Similarly, the A2A Receptor is responsible for dopamine release. Once adenosine connects to A2A receptors, it blocks the production of dopamine. 

Usually, the brain releases adenosine when your body has been tired and needs physical and mental relaxation. Bringing sleep is the brain’s acknowledgment for the refreshment of the body, mind, and soul. 

Does caffeine increase dopamine?

Caffeine is a similar drug to amphetamine and methylphenidate because all three of them work as stimulants.

Stimulants are responsible for faster communication between the body, brain, and actions. It speeds up these actions, excites your system, increases alertness, and gives bolts of energy. 

Dopamine’s release is the reason behind those bolts of energy. So, to answer, yes, caffeine does release dopamine and in a fair amount, too.

Cocaine and heroin have similar effects and wild release of dopamine. Caffeine works in the same way, only in lesser quantity and lesser risk of addiction. 

When you consume caffeine, it beats adenosine and races towards A2A and A1 receptors. A2A receptors are responsible for dopamine release, but adenosine blocks them when your body doesn’t need them or cannot afford the energy. 

Caffeine connects to A2A receptors before adenosine can and increases the effect of A2A receptors. How much would dopamine increase can depend on the doses and the region where the coffee beans were grown. 

30mg caffeine has a minimal effect on the levels of dopamine and significantly less release of glutamate. Universally, we can say 30mg of caffeine can release and increase 25% of dopamine’s level. It’s minor but still has lasting effects on the brain, body, and alertness. 

On the other hand, caffeine doesn’t release much glutamate. Glutamate and dopamine both are neurotransmitters. There’s a possibility of glutamate release when consumed caffeine in higher doses. 

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter; it’s a pleasure hormone and works to supply your brain with enough pleasure like the ones you feel during love, orgasm, sex, food, exercise. 

Glutamate is another neurotransmitter responsible for enhancing learning and memory. Caffeine and other drugs tend to increase the natural level of dopamine by initiating an artificial surge. 

Dopamine release can be very addictive; please avoid a high dosage of coffee, caffeine, and other stimulating drugs. 

Where is caffeine found?

Caffeine is a natural drug found in many plant series and their seeds, beans, leaves, roots. You can find biological traces of less/more caffeine in tea plants, coffee cherries, cocoa, cacao, etc. 

This caffeine is extracted from natural sources to produce beverages and caffeine products, or the caffeine source is directly crushed and brewed as a wholesome drink. 

Coffee beans are considered the most-rich natural source of caffeine. Different species of coffee beans produce different amounts of caffeine. The content can depend on the beans’ type, origin, species, etc. 

Two notable species of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta beans. Robusta beans are richer in caffeine and have double the content compared to Arabica. 

Caffeine’s purpose in plants is to protect its growth from herbivores, insects, pests, etc. Caffeine keeps crop destroyers away from the crop. Robusta beans are cheap for the same reasons. 

They have such a significant amount of caffeine that the crops never go defective. These robusta crops also grow pretty quickly without extra effort, money, expenditure, and care. 

Many companies have now started to produce synthetic caffeine, which is much more affordable and digests faster than the natural. Synthetic caffeine has more side effects than natural; it’s best to choose your caffeine wisely. Try to avoid artificially synthesized caffeine. 

Synthesized caffeine is found in carbonated beverages. Natural caffeine is used in drinks like tea, coffee, various coffees, cocoa, cocoa recipes.

Pros and cons of caffeine

Despite the pronounced myths about coffee and caffeine, both have equally many health and energy benefits. Caffeine, when consumed in the correct quantity, helps in many prospects. 

Please note: Caffeine is a fatal overdose when consumed together in high quantities of 500mg all at once. Thus, it’s recommended to drink coffee and caffeine supplements in batches of 100mg. 

Also, your daily dosage mustn’t cross 400mg every day. As discussed, every 100mg caffeine gives a significant surge of energy and alertness that lasts for hours (4-5 hours). It’s also suggested to consume caffeine in dosage for best effects. 

When you exceed this limit of caffeine every day, you invite high tolerance towards its after-effect, health issues, withdrawal symptoms, and dangerous overdose. So, consume it in healthy quantities to properly enjoy its benefits and effects. 

Pros of caffeine

  • Dopamine surge and alertness: People have been consuming it for a long time now; its history has always been rewarding to coffee drinkers for the energy surge and alertness it provides. 
  • Alertness: It gives you the energy to spend extra hours while working out and exercising. The vigilance allows you to work longer with a creative and alert mind. 
  • It helps you better your memory power and speeds up your delayed senses, thought process, and fastens reflexes. 
  • Not just the psychological benefits, caffeine also has many physiological benefits. 
  • Studies claim caffeine can prevent Type 2-Diabetes, liver diseases, Parkinson’s diseases, and many others. 
  • It’s reported that caffeine can fight off cancerous cells’ growth and help prevent liver and colon cancer. 
  • Caffeine helps you lose weight faster and metabolizes unwanted weight more quickly. 
  • It increases dopamine levels and reduces the chances of low-dopamine-induced diseases. 
  • It has many side antioxidants. 

Cons of caffeine

  • Caffeine can be addictive and may lead to non-stop withdrawal symptoms that adversely affect your mental and physical health. 
  • These withdrawal symptoms may include too much sleepiness, depression, anxiety, and psychological swings. 
  • You might either deal with sleepiness or insomnia, depending on your brain. 
  • Caffeine increases the chances of blood pressure and isn’t suitable for people already suffering from blood pressure.
  • Tannins in caffeine can turn your teeth yellow. 
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Who should and shouldn’t use it?

Caffeine has many benefits and side effects. Will caffeine suit you? It can depend on people, their health, well-being, and capability to metabolize coffee/caffeine. 

Always consume caffeine through coffee/tea and other natural caffeine sources. Caffeine supplements shouldn’t be taken unless your doctor suggests you. Caffeine supplements are tablets rich in dosage. For people with weak stomachs who cannot stand coffee’s acidity and bitterness are ecommended caffeine supplements. 

  • If you are someone with weak digestion and a sensitive stomach, you shouldn’t consume caffeine. Caffeine can irritate people with weak digestion. 
  • People with blood pressure shouldn’t drink caffeine because caffeine enhances blood pressure and heart activity. 
  • People with irregular breathing and complex nasal tract also shouldn’t consume coffee because caffeine does increase their breathing activity. It might lead to hyperventilation. 
  • Suppose you have arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). Caffeine accelerates your heart at a non-conventional phase. 
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid caffeine because caffeine can pass through the placenta, disturbing your child’s sleeping pattern. Insult your doctor and limit caffeine up to 100-150mg per day. 
  • People who are already dealing with sleeping problems shouldn’t further promote alertness. It can lead to insomnia and anxiety. 
  • If your tolerance is too high for caffeine, it’s best to avoid caffeine for a while. 

Who should drink caffeine?

  • If you do not have any health records, breathing, or heartbeat problems, you can have caffeine. 
  • Caffeine should give you healthy alertness. If caffeine gives you a positive jitter and energy boost, you can consume caffeine. 
  • People who are prone to uncalled sleep. Unwanted sleep in the morning, afternoon, and evening can kill many hours of your day. If you feel sleepy all the time, caffeine will help you wake up positively. 
  • Suppose you have a slow caffeine metabolism. Slower metabolism allows caffeine’s effects to last longer. 
  • Caffeine gives you pleasure trips with little quantity, and you don’t need too much caffeine to witness any after-effects. 

When does it become dangerous?

Everything must have a limit. Without boundaries, things are bound to get nasty. The same is the case with caffeine.

When you are a regular drinker and consume a high amount of caffeine every dosage, things will get dangerous for your health and might ironically sabotage caffeine’s usefulness. 

4-5 cups of caffeine are considered suitable, but if you exceed that limit and cannot keep a count of cups while drinking, you are inviting addiction, several mental and health issues. 

  • When you become tolerant to caffeine’s effects: After extreme consumption, soon your body starts to become immune to caffeine. Tolerance results in wanting more and more caffeine to have the jitter back again. Soon, it leads to addiction and withdrawal symptoms. 
  • When you cannot sleep at night: Caffeine leads to alertness, but too much of it can disturb your sleeping pattern, and extreme avoidance can lead to insomnia. 
  • When you notice withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, anxiety, depression, no jitter, no dopamine, forced alertness, sleepiness/insomnia. 
  • Caffeine’s content in blood reaching 15mg/liter is your red signal. Get your blood tested. 80-100mg/l caffeine concentration in your blood is fatal. 
  • Headache, dehydration, increased body temperature are other red signals for too much caffeine. 
  • Many psychological behaviors including confusion, awakeness, disturbed focus, etc. 

If you notice slight hints of these symptoms, contact your doctor and avoid caffeine until it’s safe to consume caffeine again. 

Is it better not to have caffeine?

Not really! Caffeine isn’t bad when consumed in limited quantities. Plus, it has many health benefits, and some people (most) enjoy the taste of coffee. While consuming caffeine, do it right because coffee is an art. 

With the variant flavor profile of coffee, deep textures, and exotic taste, it’s almost crazy not to enjoy and witness the beverage. For a change, buy your beans and grind them the way you like it and experience the expansive array of coffee culture and its beauty. 

Again, this must be done in limitation. Coffee’s taste alone can be addictive, and the culture is to be astonishing to avoid. So, witness the coffee culture and taste the exotic flavors of coffee. 

There are many coffee varieties for you to try- with and without caffeine. You can try fermented coffee, decaf, other coffee-like teas if you want to cut caffeine. There’s always away!

Why does caffeine make you tired?

When you drink caffeine and develop intolerance against it, caffeine might start to work in the opposite direction. After a particular time, caffeine stops working with a positive impact and leads to many withdrawal symptoms. One of the main issues involves tiredness. 

As discussed, when caffeine stops providing you the energy jitter and positive alertness, it leads to many side effects like sleepiness, tired body, anxiety. Your body then starts to consume caffeine to reduce these symptoms.

Often, when you are already tired and have spent many sleepless hours, your body starts to repulse the action of caffeine, producing more and more adenosine to compete with the quantity of caffeine. 

Soon after, your brain will block the effects of caffeine and produce too much adenosine leading to sleepiness and muscle relaxation. This will make you feel more tired. 

Also, once caffeine rubs off, you will be introduced to more tiredness than ever because you have been using foreign drugs to keep yourself active, and it’s bound to rub off. 

Does caffeine work if you have ADHD?

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder usually found in children and teenagers. In ADHD, you deal with a short memory span, lack of attention, impulsive and irresponsible repulses, hyperactivity. Kids are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and the disorder stays along with their adulthood. 

ADHD symptoms include low dopamine levels in your brain, forgetting things, acting on impulse, being lost, absent-minded, etc. 

Caffeine does affect ADHD, but the results are often contradictory and different for every child. Children/people who have ADHD usually have a shallow dopamine level in their brains. Although the brain already requires very little dopamine, ADHD drops dopamine further down. 

On the other hand, Caffeine increases dopamine in children and might level up that level for people dealing with ADHD. Ordinary people who do not have ADHD will experience a tremendous boost, but people with ADHD will feel normal after consuming caffeine. 

Please note: Caffeine is not recommended for kids, and caffeine is also not recommended when you are already taking prescribed drugs to keep ADHD away. If you don’t consume any other medical treatment and medicine, caffeine is OK, but don’t combine two similar drugs. 

A similar drug is given to kids dealing with ADHD. The drug is called amphetamine, and the medicine is called Adderall. This drug has similar effects to caffeine. When two similar drugs like caffeine and amphetamine, are mixed, they often lead to enhanced side effects rather than benefits. 

These side-effects are doubled because two similar drugs are leading to many withdrawal symptoms. 

  • Caffeine is not suitable for kids. It’s best to consult your doctor and get prescribed medicine rather than consume caffeine at an early age. 
  • If you are an adult, don’t consume caffeine and drugs together. 

Why do energy drinks not affect me?

Energy drinks have 70-100mg caffeine in every 240ml of beverage. Its effects can depend on individuals and their tolerance towards caffeine. People with high caffeine tolerance will not get energized or affected by energy drinks. 

People who drink too much coffee will also most likely not get affected by energy drinks because they have most-probably already built a tolerance towards it. 

Nowadays, energy drinks are induced with synthetic caffeine, which is not as strong as natural caffeine. Also, synthetic caffeine metabolizes faster than natural caffeine, leaving less to no effect. 

Other reasons are similar to people who are avid coffee drinkers:

  • Tolerance against caffeine. 
  • No proper sleep and wake-up schedule. 
  • No healthy diet for good digestion and overall gut health. 
  • Tiredness. 
  • No sleep and no rest. 
  • Consuming too much coffee/caffeine.
  • Drinking too little caffeine.
  • Fast metabolism.

Conclusion

Here’s everything caffeine can offer you and can take away from you. It’s not bad at all, and yes, you can enjoy coffee with caffeine despite the rumors. If you want to drink, please drink with a limit and, until it gives you the much-needed energy surge. 

Please consult your doctor before consuming caffeine if you have blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, breathing problems, and other heart diseases. It’s better to consult than to risk your life. 

Keep track of your dosage, and don’t take the chart lightly. Make sure to check the caffeine content your coffee beans’ bag has and how much your brewing process allows. 

The bigger the mug of coffee, the more your caffeine content will be. Instead of focusing on the average content, make sure you have accurate knowledge of how much coffee you are drinking and how much caffeine every glass has. 

As long as all these criteria are met, you are free to consume and cherish coffee and its taste!