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Software Science Idle

Optimizing Your Caffeine Intake With an App 134

MrSeb writes "Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn't interrupt your sleep. By reading through lots of peer-reviewed studies, doctors Frank E. Ritter and Kuo-Chuan Yeh found that a caffeine level of between 200 and 400mg in your bloodstream provides optimal mental alertness, and that you should be below 100mg when you try to sleep. Caffeine Zone plots your caffeination level after you consume caffeine, and warns you if that big afternoon coffee will keep you up at night. It also lets you change the 'optimal' and 'sleep' values if you're particularly resistant or weak to caffeine."
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Optimizing Your Caffeine Intake With an App

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  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday February 16, 2012 @11:59PM (#39070365) Homepage Journal

    I agree that there are way too many variables to make a 'one size fits all' app. However, the issue of different tolerance levels was addressed in the last line of the post: "It also lets you change the 'optimal' and 'sleep' values if you're particularly resistant or weak to caffeine."

    Does it allow for those of us who needs coffee to sleep?

    I grew up in a culture where 7 cups a day was average, which, when accounting for those who don't drink coffee, meant 10-12 cups a day for coffee drinkers. Often including a bedside mug. Then I moved to the US, where people have a belief that coffee can make them unable to sleep, and that's when drinking making-love-in-a-canoe coffee. I think it's at least partially psychosomatic - people get restless from coffee because they expect to, and because it's a pick-me-up in the morning, they believe it's also going to wake them up if drunk at night.
    Sure, caffeine is a stimulant, but American coffee has extremely low doses. The theobromine in a cup or bar of chocolate is more of a stimulant (never mind the sugar), and they don't seem to have the same belief about chocolate keeping them awake.

    Sure, I have probably built up a tolerance, but I didn't have any problem with coffee keeping me awake when I started drinking it either. About a pot of strong coffee a day during summer at age 14, and I slept like a log. Nobody told me I would have problems sleeping, so I didn't.

  • Re:Simpler method (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday February 17, 2012 @12:13AM (#39070463) Journal

    I've had caffeine problems in the past and am now rolling back to Green Tea. Just enough of a prod. The problem with Coffee is it's a big hit and the subsequent sips provide a declining return on alertness, but an increase in fidgeting, anxiety, etc. A more modest dose from tea and I'm less likely to become accustomed to high levels of caffeine which only serve to keep me at a body-acclimated "normal".

    Coffee is great in small doses. The huge mugs that Americans favor and the super mega vente that most people buy at the coffee shop is way overkill. I found that coffee was making me edgy until a friend from Europe gave me a set of very nice small cups, maybe six ounces. If I have one of those in the morning, sitting on my back porch with the wife, it gets me off to a nice running start and doesn't keep me awake at night.

    After that, it's just herb tea or slivovitza. Once in a while a Yoohoo and Jagermeister over crushed ice, because the elk blood is good for my gout.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2012 @01:37AM (#39071017)

    Caffeine is a drug that's sadly overused to the max. Surely, the best thing must be to avoid taking caffeine at all? It's really mind boggling how our culture nurtures it to the point that they now talk about "optimum caffeine level" in your blood. Wow, just..wow.

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