4 Tiny Tweaks for a Healthier Caffeine Routine
Dark coffees may taste stronger, but according to one study, they're gentler on your stomach. The roasting process produces a compound that slows the production of stomach-irritating acid, according to researcher Veronika Somoza, PhD, a professor in the University of Vienna's department of nutritional and physiological chemistry; because darker brews are roasted longer, they produce more of the compound than their lighter counterparts. Another plus: Dark roasts tend to contain lower amounts of caffeine, which can also trigger acid reflux.
If you suffer from insomnia...know when to say when.
Caffeine sensitivity can vary widely: Its half-life in adults—the time it takes for half of the stimulant to leave your body—is between four and seven hours, says researcher Frank Ritter, PhD, of the Applied Cognitive Science Lab at Penn State University. If your half-life is six hours and you drink an eight-ounce coffee at 4 p.m., half the caffeine will likely still be in your system at 10 p.m.—blocking the action of a snooze-inducing chemical in the brain and making it harder to wind down. Time your last cup so you can get a good night's rest by using an app like Caffeine Zone 2, developed by Ritter's lab. Just enter how much coffee you drink and how fast you drink it, and the app will predict how long your buzz should last.
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