Caffeine Sensitivity and Age Linked

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Published: 10th June 2010
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Have you ever felt that drinking a mere cup of normal coffee during the afternoon prevents you from sleeping at night? Does drinking coffee bother you or has negative effects on your sensation?

There are lots of questions that could be asked regarding caffeine sensitivity but, in this article, we will dwell on one. Does this have anything to do with your age?

Caffeine Sensitivity

Caffeine sensitivity is the inversely proportional with the amount of caffeine that will affect a person. The more caffeine needed to produce an impact on someone, the less sensitive he or she is to caffeine. It is common to say that the smaller or older the person, the less caffeine required to make an effect.

Unfortunately for many, sensitivity to caffeine does tend to increase together with increase in age. Children metabolize caffeine quicker than adults. Since children have faster metabolism, they also process the caffeine faster while older people with slower metabolism become somewhat thin-skinned to caffeine and store it for a while.

Some also say that caffeine sensitivity is a matter of how much you are used to ingesting caffeine. They say that the more caffeine you take in, the smaller the chances that you will be sensitive to it eventually because you have become used to it. But although many believe this, it is not a proven statement and it is very contradicting to the facts of caffeine sensitivity.

The metabolism of caffeine in our body

Let us look at a more scientific side of what happens to caffeine inside our body. Use this to compare the metabolism of the children and that of the adults.

The liver metabolizes the caffeine as soon as it is ingested and it breaks it down into theophylline, paraxanthine, and theobromine. These travel all over our body and influence many body organs and functions. These also sway moods and prevent the calming effect of dopamine. Theophylline causes smooth muscles to relax and that is why we usually feel like going to the comfort room after ingesting caffeine. On the other hand, theobromine adds to the oxygen and nutrient levels in our body which are used by muscles and the brain.

How widely is caffeine used?

It is shown in statistics that caffeine is the drug that is most used in the United States. About the population's ninety percent consumes some in different food and beverages. Some of the most widespread sources of caffeine are tea leaves, coffee beans, and cocoa nuts. There are a lot of other beverages, especially energy drinks, which contain caffeine too but these are generally done artificially.

Common caffeine sources

Caffeine could be found in numerous plants and in a vast selection of food products. Here are some helpful facts on how much caffeine you could take in when you eat or drink certain products.

Six ounces of coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, the same amount of tea has 70 mg. Another favorite of many, chocolate, gives you 6 mg per ounce while a 12-ounce can of cola supplies 50 mg of caffeine. Note that these are only based on the composition of the regular products and do not stand for all. This does not mean that you have to avoid these. It is just that you must be aware of how much caffeine you take in so you would not be prone to caffeine sensitivity as you grow in age.

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