Why Doesn’t Caffeine Affect Me?
For most of us, a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is the essential part of our routines. I can’t tell you how much a coffee wakes me up and helps me compose myself for the day. However, some people do find that caffeine doesn’t really affect them anymore (it hasn’t happened to me yet – thankfully!).
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Why Doesn’t Caffeine Affect Me Anymore?
Lots of people get their daily boost with a little caffeine, so I thought I’d start with a morning coffee to keep me going. To my dismay, the caffeine didn’t work for me. It wasn’t long before I was still just as tired as when I started, so why didn’t the caffeine affect me?
Different people are sensitive to different amounts of caffeine. Sensitivity is actually determined by the efficiency of the body to process caffeine, so it’s not like tolerance that builds over time. This is more about how genetics impact the effectiveness of caffeine. Basically, some people just have the genes that work well with caffeine and others don’t.
This has a lot to do with the liver enzyme CYP1A2. Sometimes people have lots of this enzyme and sometimes they don’t.
Most people just fall in the middle. There’s also the “caffeine gene,” otherwise known as the AHR gene, which regulates these enzymes.
Levels of Sensitivity
You can be hypersensitive to caffeine, normal, or hyposensitive. Hypersensitive people react to small amounts of caffeine, so you don’t need much to get going. Even small doses can make your heart race, give you insomnia, or make you jittery.
More people tend to show normal sensitivity to caffeine though, so they can have 200-400mg of caffeine with no adverse reactions. If you’re one of these people, and most people are, then you’ll have no trouble sleeping as long as you’ve had the caffeine early enough in the day. This is usually around 2-3 cups of brewed coffee.
Then there are the people who are hyposensitive to caffeine. They process caffeine so efficiently that they can have over 500mg and feel nothing. If you’re one of these people, you’ll have to drink an awful lot just to feel anything. In this case, you might want to consider other ways to wake yourself up.
There are definitely cases where consuming too much coffee over time eventually destroys your tolerance for it. You might start with a normal amount and need more just to get the same energizing effect. In this case, it may be better to try other ways to stay awake like those people who are hyposensitive to caffeine. Too much caffeine is actually toxic after all, and won’t help you in the long run.
If you find that caffeine just doesn’t do the trick, there are a couple of options you can try. Those of you that are really sensitive might switch to back tea or green tea to try and quit caffeine all together. You’ll just feel more irritated if you can’t sleep at night. People with normal sensitivity should be careful not to build too much tolerance, but otherwise a few cups a day are fine. You might even drink caffeine just for the flavor if it doesn’t keep you awake. Always be sure not to have too much however.