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Best Time For a Coffee Break? There's an App For That


laptop and coffee cup

Credit: Flying Change Webs & Graphics

Pennsylvania State University researchers have developed Caffeine Zone, an application that can help people determine when caffeine may give them a mental boost and when it could hurt their sleep patterns.

The app takes information on caffeine use and combines it with information on the effects of caffeine to produce a graph of how the caffeine will affect the users over time. If a person rapidly drinks a cup of coffee, they will experience a spike in mental alertness, but enough caffeine can linger in the bloodstream to cause sleep problems hours later, says Penn State professor Frank Ritter.

The researchers found that caffeine drinkers with between 200 and 400 milligrams of caffeine in their bloodstream are in an optimal mental alertness zone. However, drinkers that remain above 100 milligrams of caffeine in their bloodstream may experience sleep problems.

To plot caffeine's effect with the app, users type in information about how much caffeine they drank, or plan to drink, and when they plan to have a caffeinated beverage, as well as how fast they drink the beverage.

From Penn State Live 
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