5 Ways to Keep Your Caffeine Tolerance In Check
5 min read
By: Danielle Rath, Caffeine Scientist, GreenEyedGuide
“Tolerance” is usually a good thing to have, but not when it comes to caffeine. People who haven’t had caffeine in a long time (or ever) have a zero-tolerance. On the other hand, people who consume caffeine every day have higher caffeine tolerance. Having a high caffeine tolerance means you need a large dose of caffeine to feel like it’s working. The higher the tolerance, the more caffeine it takes to feel the same way you felt with your very first cup or can of caffeine.
With so many coffee shops and so many different caffeinated drinks available, it’s easy to build a caffeine tolerance without realizing it. The good news is it’s easy to make small tweaks to lower your caffeine tolerance and give you back the control over how much caffeine you consume in a day.
CAFFEINE TOLERANCE VS CAFFEINE SENSITIVITY
Like the term “caffeine sensitivity”, the term “caffeine tolerance” describes how a person responds to caffeine. Whereas caffeine sensitivity is based on genetics, caffeine tolerance is based on usage. Caffeine sensitivity cannot be changed, but caffeine tolerance can. Caffeine tolerance is built up over time and can happen as fast as one week.
Caffeine creates stimulation by blocking adenosine receptors in our brains. When we regularly consume caffeine, our brain adapts, and develops more adenosine receptors. Then we consume more caffeine. Then our brain develops EVEN MORE adenosine receptors. And on and on. That’s why it takes more and more caffeine to feel the same effects as your first time. Fortunately, this effect is reversible. Even the most avid caffeine addict can get their caffeine consumption and their caffeine tolerance under control.
5 EASY TIPS TO REDUCE CAFFEINE TOLERANCE
KEEP TRACK OF HOW MUCH CAFFEINE YOU CONSUME IN ONE DAY
Health authorities suggest 400 mg of caffeine, total per day, is the maximum dosage considered safe for healthy adults, not including those who are pregnant or nursing. If you need help finding the amount of caffeine in a specific product, Caffeine Informer has the largest database of caffeinated products. You can use a caffeine calculator like this one created by the International Food Information Council to see how much caffeine you’ve consumed from all sources in one day. Keeping your caffeine below 400 mg caffeine per day, from all sources, is a great way to keep caffeine tolerance in check.
LIMIT CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION PER SERVING TO 200 MG OF CAFFEINE
For reference, one cup of home brewed coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. One can of Marquis contains 100 mg of caffeine. Health authorities suggest 200 mg of caffeine is the maximum amount considered safe to consume for a single serving. That means healthy adults can enjoy up to 200 mg of caffeine in one sitting and not expect any dehydration or side effects. Furthermore, 200 mg of caffeine is the maximum dosage considered safe to consume before a workout. Monitoring the amount of caffeine you have in one serving is a great way to keep caffeine tolerance low and stay within the 400 mg of caffeine per day recommendation.
CONSIDER SMALLER AND SMARTER PORTIONS
People often use smaller portion sizes to cut down on Calories per meal, but portion sizes apply to caffeine, too. It only takes 75 mg of caffeine to achieve a functional effect. Larger doses don’t necessarily mean “more stimulation”, though more caffeine means more hours of caffeine in your system. This isn’t always a good thing if you’re consuming caffeine at the 3 pm slump and want a good night's sleep. A large dose of caffeine will not only build your caffeine tolerance, it’s more likely to interfere with your sleep. Caffeine takes about 4 hours to metabolize half the amount consumed. In other words, drinking 100 mg of caffeine at 3 pm means there’s only 50 mg of caffeine (about the amount in a cup of green tea) in your system at 7 pm. To keep your caffeine tolerance low, Marquis with its 100 mg of caffeine per serving is a great option.
EXPLORE OTHER WAYS TO FIND YOUR FOCUS
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, leading to cognitive stimulation. However, when you’re stressed and struggling to focus, caffeine should not be the only thing you try. Taking a small break to meditate, stretch, walk, or get water can all help you regain your focus. Next time you crack open a cool, refreshing can of Marquis, try this exercise. Close your eyes and take three slow breaths in and out. If you have trouble quieting your thoughts, you can ask yourself, “What am I hearing? What am I feeling? What am I smelling?” Focusing on your sensory inputs, like the fizzy bubble sounds of your Marquis, can help you find your focus without needing larger doses of caffeine.