Caffeine, Drugs, Food Additives (and Inadequate Civilizations)

Thx. Do you have a good free resource that you can link? Don’t want to buy an book on it quite yet.

The things I find when web searching is mainly side effects of too much caffeine. None of which I experience myself.

I drink about 3-4 cups a day on weekdays (when at boot camp). On weekends (home) I usually don’t drink any coffee at all (at least not for months).

Edit: I don’t drink coffee to “wake up”. I get up at about 5 am and drink my first coffee at about 9 am. I like the taste and it keeps me from feeling hungry before lunch (I think).

Many people share on reddit about their struggles with caffeine.

Also, based on the data in this paper:

Healthy people’s rate of processing caffeine varies by more than a factor of 2. (And for people with the wrong disease, it can take literally weeks to clear caffeine out of their system.)

Also, apparently, caffeine is egregiously understudied (which really says something bad about a society where it’s used so much). The paper looks competent but doesn’t do enough studying/testing. The authors know that and express interest in doing more studies and have some decent ideas about what else to research. I’m guessing the primary problem holding back higher quality information is lack of funding.

Oh yeah, FYI, the main thing I was trying to check when I looked at that academic paper: caffeine has a half life. It doesn’t just go away after a set amount of time.

Very roughly, and variable by person, the half life is 5 hours. So if you drink coffee, 1/2 the caf is gone (due to your body processing it) after 5 hours, 3/4 after 10 hours, and 7/8 after 15 hours. That means if you drink 4 cups of coffee and wait 10 hours, it’s roughly the same as having just drunk 1 cup of coffee.

In terms of sleep, for some people, drinking 4 cups of coffee early in the morning is about the same as drinking half a cup right before bed. For some people it’s worse than that (they process caffeine more slowly, so it could be equivalent to e.g. drinking 70%, 90%, 110% or even more of a cup of coffee right before bed), but others do process the caffeine more quickly.

Some people who drink 5+ cups a day are probably avoiding withdrawals even while asleep – if they process caf more slowly then they could have a meaningful amount of caf in their system 24/7.

I tried to look into caffeine very slightly just now. I watched a video that said adenosine goes into receptors in your brain, and then make you tired. But caffeine blocks these receptors so that adenosine can’t make you tired anymore. I already knew caffeine did something like that, but I didn’t know it was specifically adenosine.

I remembered that Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP) is used in your body as energy to do things like: contract your muscles. So I thought that maybe something like this happens: You use adenosine tri phosphate in your muscles, maybe it turns into just adenosine after it gets used, and then because you have more adenosine you feel more tired. I think there is something where when you exercise more, you get more tired, so I think this would make sense as an explanation for that.

So if all the things I said previously were true, that would mean that you get less tired after exercising if you use caffeine because the caffeine blocks the adenosine from making you sleepy.

I wanted to see if adenosine tri phosphate turns into adenosine, which makes you sleepy, but gets blocked by caffeine, so I looked up: does adenosine tri phosphate turn into adenosine which makes you sleepy and found this article: Adenosine Sleep: What Is Adenosine and What Does Adenosine Do? . IDK how good this article is, I haven’t fact checked it at all or made sure it’s accurate or anything. But it seems to agree with me.

Here is a single sentence from the article that seems to agree with what I thought:

After ATP is “used up”, it decomposes yet again into adenosine. As adenosine builds up in the bloodstream, it interacts with specific cell receptors, inhibiting neural activity and causing drowsiness.

I read more of the article and I think it said something along the lines of: if you do more caffeine, that means adenosine doesn’t get into the receptors, which means when caffeine wears off you feel even more tired, and the adenosine gets carried over to when you wake up as well.

So normally maybe your life would be like this: You got to sleep with high amounts of adenosine in your receptors so you feel more tired, then you wake up with low adenosine maybe?

But with caffeine maybe it’s something like: you go to sleep with high amounts of adenosine in you, but medium amounts of adenosine in your receptors because they are being blocked by caffeine, so when you wake up there is still a bunch of adenosine that didn’t get used up in your receptors or something, so because the adenosine got carried over from yesterday you feel more tired, so you drink more caffeine to feel less tired, and then you can be stuck in a permanent cycle where caffeine makes you more tired so you take caffeine to make you feel less tired.

IDK why adenosine doesn’t just permanently build up in you receptors, i guess there is a process to remove it from you receptors, then maybe adenosine leaves your body through urine or maybe it turns into Adenosine Tri Phosphate again. It’s probably easier and more efficient for your body to attach 3 phosphates to an already existing adenosine than it is to make a brand new adenosine with 3 phosphates attached to it.

OK I’m about at the limit of my willingness to keep writing or checking if anything in my message makes sense. So I’m gonna stop here even though I intended to like maybe quote the article that I referenced again.

idk cuz apparently adenosine has a short half-life:

Adenosine has a very short half-life. In human blood, its half-life is less than 10 seconds. There are two important metabolic fates for adenosine.

  1. Most importantly, adenosine is rapidly transported into red blood cells (and other cell types) where it is rapidly deaminated by adenosine deaminase to inosine, which is further broken down to hypoxanthine, xanthine and uric acid, which is excreted by the kidneys. Adenosine deamination also occurs in the plasma, but at a lower rate than that which occurs within cells. Dipyridamole is a vasodilator drug that blocks adenosine uptake by cells, thereby reducing the metabolism of adenosine. Therefore, one important mechanism for dipyridamole-induced vasodilation is its potentiation of extracellular adenosine.
  2. Adenosine can be acted on by adenosine kinase and rephosphorylated to AMP. This salvage pathway helps maintain the adenine nucleotide pool in cells.

I did not follow all those details.