Dr. Ray Schilling says the elimination of caffeine from the body takes about 28.5 hours. Complete elimination occurs after five half-lives.
Dr. Schilling says there is also a biological half-life of caffeine that lasts much longer than the process of eliminating caffeine’s physical presence in the body. Dr. Schilling writes:
The reality is even worse: there is a biological half-life of eliminating caffeine, which is much longer than the physical elimination. This is the effect it takes for cells to recover from the action of caffeine. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine. When they withdraw from caffeine, it may take them 2 weeks to be back to normal in their sleep rhythms, their energy and general functioning after withdrawal of caffeine. Most people take about 1 week to 1 1/2 weeks. This time (1 to 1 /2 weeks for most people or 2 weeks for caffeine sensitive people) would be the biological half-life.
For some reason, the physical half life of caffeine is much longer for pregnant women, especially in the last four weeks of gestation: 10.5 hours. Dr. Schilling recommends that pregnant women either stop consuming caffeine altogether or limit their intake to one cup per day. Dr. Schilling says it would take 52.5 hours to eliminate caffeine from a pregnant woman’s body after she quits caffeine.
According to Caffeine Informer certain conditions can prolong the half-life of caffeine. For example, the caffeine half-life for people with compromised liver function can be much longer. A study showed the half-life for a 49-yeear-old woman with alcoholic hepatic disease was 168 hours.
Also, some people lack genes that influence caffeine’s half-life. If people have a defective gene or lack it altogether, caffeine may remain in the system for a long time and cause allergy-like symptoms. People with variation of another gene that affects metabolism rates need much less caffeine to experience the stimulating effects of caffeine.
The benefits of coffee may outweigh risks of jitters and withdrawal symptoms. As we wrote on this blog in August 2016, studies show coffee:
Other areas where it may help are in preventing erectile dysfunction, reducing suicide risk, reducing or preventing ringing in the ears and reducing risk of kidney stones.
And while you may not be training for the Olympics, coffee and caffeine can boost athletic performance. A Viter Life blog posting pointed out that caffeine can boost athletic stamina and speed so much that the International Olympic Committee once limited how much of it Olympic athletes could take. Caffeine was categorized as a performance-enhancing substance.
Given all this, are you sure you really want to eliminate caffeine? Studies have shown that people who drink coffee live longer! Dr. Schilling, who wrote a posting on his blog at http://www.askdrray.com/new-fda-food-guidelines/:
In the past few years many studies have shown the coffee consumption prolongs life. The FDA has now officially recognized these studies and recommends that consumption of up to 400 mg caffeine will help promote health. On the other hand the FDA also recommends that those who do not drink coffee, should not change their lifestyle just because of these recommendations.
Dr. Schilling cautions at another posting on his blog that drinking more than 2 cups a day can increase risk of miscarriage in pregnant women. He also says coffee may be an aggravating factor in people prone to anxiety or nervousness. Another group whom he says should avoid coffee is people with rheumatoid arthritis.
In August 2016 Dr. Schilling wrote about a meta-study using data from 41,736 men and 86,214 women that found the risk of death from all causes decreased significantly for men and women.
Men had a relative risk reduction of 20% as compared to their counterparts with the lowest level of coffee consumption. Women with intermediate to high consumption had a relative risk reduction of 10% to 30 % as compared to the group that drank less than 1 cup of coffee per month.
We said earlier if you want to eliminate caffeine from your system entirely, just be patient, and it should be gone in about one day. If you want to say off of caffeine and coffee, gradually reduce the amount of caffeine you take. This writer has done it a couple of times by reducing my usual coffee intake from two mugs to one and half for a few days, reducing to one mug for a few more days, and drinking tea for a few a days and then quitting altogether.
Drinking coffee can be inconvenient because occasions arise from time to time when it’s impossible to get your usual dose of coffee and caffeine, the world’s No. 1 mood-altering substance. In that case you could consider having a tin of Viter Energy Mints handy. The mints have 40 mg of caffeine in addition to essential B vitamins that play a role in energy and vigor. That is about half the amount of caffeine in a cup of java. So if you take three or four mints under the tongue, you can avoid the headache, constipation and overall malaise that comes with caffeine withdrawal.
Unless you work outdoors or indoors in a job where you are physically active all day, it can be difficult for some people who have desk jobs to stay awake at work without caffeine.
Maybe the most important thing you can do to make sure you don’t nod off at work is to get a good night of sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours, at a regular time every night. Boredom can also cause you to nod off. Other than getting a good night’s sleep and having a fascinating job, there are things you can do to stay awake.
How do investment bankers stay awake on their 18-hour shifts?
Investment bankers work such long hours that many resort to chemical stimuli. There have been rumors of methamphetamine and cocaine use among investment bankers to burn the midnight oil. Other investment bankers take Ritalin or Adderall, which are given to children with ADHD but which are stimulants for adults. But the mainstay is probably coffee, energy drinks, and other concoctions containing caffeine.
Some law students spend 60 hours a week studying. Those who’ve been through law school advise prospective students to leave the Xbox at home so they’re not tempted with potentially ruinous distraction. How do law students get energy to study so much?
One thing many law school students do not do is party and socialize a lot. This has a doubly salutary effect because the time spent not partying is time they can spend studying. And then they are not out of sorts, hung over or over-tired the next day from partying.