When does the Caffeine in Coffee “Kick In”? 

The Cleveland Clinic says, on average, it takes about 15 minutes for caffeine to feel in our systems. But, this time can change depending on the type of coffee you drink, what additives you have in your coffee, and how much you drink.

How do you know how much coffee to drink? What things can you add to your coffee to increase or decrease when these effects occur? I’ll tell you in this comprehensive guide!

What Is Caffeine?

Before I talk about when the coffee kicks in, it’s essential to understand the cause of this effect: caffeine. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant in coffee. It’s what gives you that burst of energy and focus. However, it can give you headaches, insomnia, and high blood pressure if you have too much.

While these side effects can be severe, drinking coffee still has benefits. It’s all about consuming the right amount to increase performance. The type of coffee you drink can also change the impact you will feel.

What Affects Caffeine Content?

There are a few factors that can affect the caffeine content of your coffee. They are the type of coffee, the serving size, and any additives like milk or sugar. Your body can also affect when you feel the caffeine in coffee.

Coffee Varieties and Caffeine Effects

How do you drink your coffee? Do you drink espresso or drip coffee? Do you like milk and sugar? How much do you drink? These things change when you feel the effects of coffee and the intensity of those effects.

For example, let’s say you usually get a latte for breakfast. The serving size for espresso is 2 fl. oz. or one-shot. According to Homegrounds, there is approximately 60-102.67 mg in 1 shot of espresso.

So, if you don’t like to drink a lot of coffee, having an espresso shot will let you get the benefits while drinking less coffee.

But what about the milk in your latte?

According to Invergo Coffe, adding milk to your favorite coffee doesn’t change the caffeine effects. That’s because the same amount of caffeine is still in the drink. While the milk itself doesn’t change the amount of caffeine, the diluted beverage could help you pace your intake.

Instead of drinking the caffeine all at once, like a shot, you would drink it more slowly since it’s diluted. That could help you spread the effects out over a more extended period. This may also slightly change how you absorb caffeine.

Your Body and Caffeine

Like everything you eat, your intestinal tract absorbs the caffeine and distributes it throughout your body. According to the National Library of Medicine, your body absorbs approximately 99 percent of caffeine within 45 minutes of consumption.

They go on to say that peak plasma concentration, or the amount that enters your bloodstream, occurs within 15 to 120 minutes of consumption. So you’ll be able to feel it after around 15 minutes, and your body will stop absorbing it after 45 minutes.

How to Maximize Caffeine Effects

Because caffeine is absorbed so quickly into our bloodstream, some people experience an energy crash after a few hours. This is usually characterized by a burst of energy from the caffeine peak, then a crash a few hours later when the caffeine leaves our system.

If you only want to feel the effects for a short time, then an espresso shot may be best. You’ll get a large amount of caffeine in a small serving size. So you’ll get the energy in 15 minutes, feel the peak in about 45 minutes, and leave your system in 2-3 hours. But, you may crash afterward.

How to Avoid The Crash?

What if you don’t want to feel the crash? Then you could dilute your coffee with milk or drink a drip coffee.

The serving size for drip coffee is typically 8 fl. oz. The caffeine content is similar to that of espresso at 65-120 mg in a serving. This is the key to avoiding a crash.

If you further dilute your drip coffee with, say, 4 fl. oz. of milk, then you will only be drinking 5.4-10 mg of caffeine per fl. oz. of your drink. The dilution of the caffeine will help you pace yourself as you drink, thus lengthening how long you feel the effects. You will also be less likely to experience a caffeine crash.

Final Thoughts

So many things can affect when your coffee will “kick in”. The important thing to remember is how sensitive you are to caffeine, how long you want to feel energized, and what makes your coffee taste best!