How Long Does Coffee Stay in Your System?

The time that caffeine stays within the body system mainly depends on the amount of caffeine you’ve taken and genetic factors. Generally, caffeine has an average life of about 5 to 6 hours. However, it takes about 10 hours for caffeine traces to leave the bloodstream.

coffee in body system

Caffeine Content in Coffee

Essentially, the exact caffeine content in soda, tea, and coffee varies. Reports from Mayo Clinic indicate that a cup of regular coffee (8-ounce serving) contains about 95 – 165 mg of caffeine whereas an espresso shot (1-ounce serving) contains about 47 – 64 mg of caffeine (more information available here).

On the other hand, a cup of mocha or latte (8-ounce serving) contains about 63 – 126 mg of caffeine.

It’s recommended to consume a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine daily. However, this amount may not be a lot for some individuals depending on the time caffeine stays within their body. While packaged drinks have a label indicating their caffeine content, it’s quite challenging to accurately tell the exact caffeine content in restaurant-made or homemade coffees.

Decaffeinated coffee often contains less caffeine content than regular brews. Coffee with a decaffeinated label must have about 97.5 percent of caffeine eliminated. As such, a serving of decaffeinated coffee (8-ounce cup) contains about 2 – 4 mg of caffeine.

The kind of coffee beans used in brewing coffee also determines the time that caffeine lasts in your body. Research findings indicate that coffee made from the Robusta beans (Coffea canephora) has more caffeine content than coffee made from Arabica beans (Coffea arabica).

How long will caffeine last in your body?

Research findings indicate that the main effects of taking caffeine are felt in about 15 minutes after consuming soda, tea, or coffee. Caffeine in the blood increases thereafter and peaks about 1 hour later. It stays at the peak level for some hours. About 50 percent of the consumed caffeine remains in the body after 6 hours. It takes the body about 10 hours to eliminate all the consumed caffeine from the bloodstream.

However, different individuals respond differently to coffee. Research indicates that there’re certain genetic components that determine how different individuals metabolize caffeine. Also, different people consume coffee in different amounts at different intervals.

Research findings confirm that the main determining factor of the period that caffeine lasts in the body is an individual’s genetics. That’s why caffeine reacts differently in different individuals. For instance, consuming coffee after the evening meal may cause some individuals to have a sleepless night while others may not have any trouble sleeping.

Signs of Excessive Caffeine Consumption

You might experience certain physical symptoms if you intake an excessive amount of caffeine. The duration that caffeine will stay within your system will determine the duration you’ll experience the symptoms. The signs of consuming excessive caffeine include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Nervousness
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Abnormal or elevated blood pressure
  • Experiencing jitters or feeling shaky

How to Decrease Caffeine Levels

You may be wondering whether it’s possible to reduce the duration coffee lasts in the body. Unfortunately, the best you can do upon taking a caffeinated beverage is waiting for its effects to reduce and eventually end. However, you can reduce your daily caffeine intake to minimize its effects.

If you’re used to taking a lot of caffeine daily, you might experience certain withdrawal symptoms upon attempting to quit taking caffeine at once. Withdrawal symptoms often include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Headaches

Rather than quitting caffeine at once, it’s recommended to reduce your consumption gradually over some days. Your options include:

  • Taking water whenever you crave coffee. That way, you’ll stop the habit of taking coffee and still stay hydrated.
  • Switch to decaf coffee. If you’ve made it a habit to take coffee several times daily, try taking decaf coffee as an alternative to enjoy coffee flavors while keeping your caffeine intake low. You can stay with one cup of decaf coffee per day. With time, you’ll be able to completely switch to decaf.
  • Water down caffeinated drinks before taking them. For instance, you can pour out some coffee from your cup and add some hot water. Start with pouring out an eighth of the coffee and gradually pour out more coffee while replacing it with hot water. Over time, you’ll find yourself just drinking water in place of coffee.

Best Coffee Alternatives

If caffeine tends to stay for quite long in your body, you might want to consider other ways of boosting your energy levels in the evening without affecting your sleep. Some caffeine-free alternatives to perk you up include:

  1. Sipping cold water

Taking cold water can keep you awake, especially when feeling sleepy in the afternoon. Taking water will prevent you from struggling with the fallout that comes with caffeine. Water isn’t diuretic like coffee. Thus, taking water will keep you hydrated.

  1. Taking short walks

You can get some fresh air and sunshine to increase your energy levels. If you’re not in a position to go outside, take some laps around your home or office building to prevent you from feeling sleepy while working. Also, regular walks can assist you in staying active. Besides, walks can assist in healthy weight loss.

  1. Taking a nap

Taking a nap during the daytime isn’t something that everyone can manage to do. However, a short nap can assist in raising your energy level. By napping for about 20 minutes, you’ll feel refreshed after waking up and stay awake throughout the day. However, avoid taking a nap in the evening as doing so might affect your sleep at night.

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