Caffeine sensitivity

During the winter break, a cup of bubble tea kept me awake for a whole night. This was not the first time that small doses of caffeine affected me in a great way. Whenever I drink Tim Horton’s small ice cappuccino in the morning, I can’t fall asleep at night. I have always wondered why I am unable to sleep with such little caffeine intake while others seem to be not affected at all, which is why I decided to do research on caffeine sensitivity.

How does caffeine work?

Caffeine makes people more excited because it speeds up the nerve cells. It does this through mimicking the appearance of adenosine-a chemical that slows down nerve cells. Caffiene attaches to adenosine receptors and the nerve cells up while disabling actual adenosine from attaching itself to them.

What does overdose feel like?

I believe that I’ve experience mild overdose after drinking milk tea and ice cappuccino. Some of my symptoms included fast heartbeat , restlessness, insomnia, and slight headaches for several hours. Upon more research, I have found more symptoms of caffiene overdose. Other mild sympotoms include dizziness, increased thirst whlie serious symptoms include hallucinations, chest pain, and even death.

Why does caffeine affect some people more?

The CYP1A2 enzyme in our bodies help us break down caffeine. However, some people have more of these enzymes while others have less. This differece in enxyme levels cause some people to be more sensitive than others.

There are three levels of caffeine sensitivity in relation to genetics:
Hypersensitive to caffeine
Normal sensitivity to caffeine
Hyposensitive to caffeine

Aside from genetic makeup, there are also other factors that can affect how people respond to caffeine. For instance, women generally breakdown caffeine quicker than men. Other examples include medication interfering with caffeine breakdown and not consuming caffeine regularly.

I think that I am more sensitive to caffeine because I do not consume caffeine regularly, and I might have genes that make me more susceptible to the effects of caffeine.


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