Should caffeine be a take-it-or-leave-it acquaintance? A team player? A friend with benefits? A marriage partner to wake up with every morning? Or is your relationship with caffeine doomed, a heart-breaker that will never work? Perhaps you keep caffeine’s number on emergency speed dial, like the AAA tow truck that only shows up when your car breaks down.
Outdated research studies have clouded people’s understanding of how caffeine works, so these chapters focus on clearing up myths and misconceptions. Caffeine can be a great friend, or for some, it can be a foe. But for most of us, caffeine offers safe and attractive features, when taken in low to moderate doses.
Much Depends on You
The intensity of caffeine’s effects largely depends on you: your chemistry, your age, your sex, how your brain is wired, and your genes – which help determine if you’re a slow or fast metabolizer.
Why do people respond so differently to caffeine? Or conversely, why do people respond so similarly? Given that 90 percent of the world now consumes caffeine every day, this chapter poses the questions: Why is caffeine so important to humans? Is it good or bad for us?
Chapter 7, which follows this chapter, covers caffeine’s half-life, the length of time caffeine stays in a person’s system, and its biphasic nature, meaning low and high doses produce drastically different effects (more is not better). So if you want you want to skip ahead and then return to this part, that’s fine. The information in both chapters goes hand-in-hand.