How to optimize your caffeine intake: there's an app for that

Tim O'Reilly tweeted: "Quantified self for caffeine addicts -- IOS app to optimize intake. (Didn't know half-life in body was 5 hours!)"

201202171117 Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn’t interrupt your sleep.

How to optimize your caffeine intake



  1. I imagine there would also be interest in an app for maximization of alcohol-intake as well.

  2. I hope they widen the support for other natural stimulants like ephedra

    A serious over the counter stimulant abuser might be using kola nuts, guarana, and NaDH on a daily basis. I believe the first two to be caffeine based.

  3. I have the natural ability to feel intuitively when I’m jonesing for a cup of joe, so I don’t have to ask my telephone. 

    No, really!

  4. For those who want to go beyond ThinkGeek candy you can get the pure anhydrous powder online for not that much.  One of the supplements that work.

  5. But some of us are mutants! “Coffee is a major source of caffeine, which is metabolized by the polymorphic cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) enzyme. Individuals who are homozygous for the CYP1A2*1A allele are “rapid” caffeine metabolizers, whereas carriers of the variant CYP1A2*1F are “slow” caffeine metabolizers”
    (a test for that mutation is included in your 23andme profile.)

  6. I really wish there weren’t such a huge wealth of useful applications out there locked into exclusive use on the OS of an expensive smartphone I don’t want to own.

    I’d buy something like this and just run it on a home computer, but… nobody wants to sell me such a thing.

  7. I’ve been off caffeine for the better part of 14 years.  I miss the bite of a caffeinated cola in a mixed drink now and again, but I don’t miss the daily energy roller coaster and I certainly don’t miss the withdrawal headaches that lasted for several days when I quit cold turkey.  I did so unintentionally at first, when I was broke in college and I quit my 12 can a day soft drink habit.  I had quit spending money on anything, including soft drinks.  I started to get some really serious headaches along with cravings for a soft drink.  When I realized how bad my addiction was, I decided I was done with caffeine.  The headaches sucked, but I was okay fairly quickly.

    I’m no fanatic – I eat chocolate, I drink decaf coffee (I actually like the taste) and I don’t skip foods made with a little coffee such as tiramisu or beers brewed with a little coffee.  So there is some caffeine in my system.  But it isn’t part of my routine, and I don’t consider it an option to stay awake, including sources like 5-hour energy, Red Bull, etc., nor do I use other stimulants in its place.

    What have I gotten for this?  When I wake up, I am awake and alert.  I go to bed when I am tired and I fall asleep, usually within seconds.  I don’t use an alarm clock unless I am really worried about a particularly early meeting or flight.  No more mid-morning or afternoon lulls and I’m not chasing the perfect cup of coffee to feed my habit.

    If I were still drinking caffeinated drinks, however, this app would be right up my alley.  I wonder what it would say about me.  I might download it just to check it out.

  8. > How to optimize your caffeine intake

    In the voice of Wooderson from Dazed and Confused: “I’m optimizing right now.” :D

  9. As I get older I’ve found my tolerance for caffeine is rapidly disappearing.  On four or five espressos a day I was struggling to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a stretch each night.  Since cutting back to just one caffeinated drink a day I’m sleeping much better.  It’s nice to wake up feeling like I’ve had a decent night’s rest again, but one cup of coffee a day?  That sucks.

    1.  Not nearly as user friendly. Yours is barebones, this is the info and now do with it what you will.

      Also the chart is not available in the free version, which I understand why you did it but still eff you ;)

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