4 Things to Know About Caffeine, the Surprising Substance Behind a California Man’s DUI
by Parminder Deo and John Torres, M.D.
A California has been charged with driving under the influence … of caffeine.
Given that Americans consume an average of 3.1 cups of coffee a day, it’s unlikely he’s the only driver on the road to have ever enjoyed such a seemingly innocent pick-me-up. So, how in the world could caffeine impair a driver’s capability behind the wheel?
According to NBC medical contributor Dr. John Torres, it wouldn’t. “Studies have shown that caffeine actually helps ones driving abilities. The only way that it might have an effect is if a person overdoses on caffeine or uses it to cover fatigue and then it wears off,” Torres said.
One man’s legal issues aside, caffeine does come with some surprising truths that many people may not know.
Light Roast Has More Caffeine Than Dark
When you go bean to bean, light roasts win in holding more caffeine. Why? The beans are exposed to less heat than dark blends, so more caffeine is not lost during the roasting process. The difference in caffeine between light and dark roasts isn’t enough for most to notice, but there are other ways to reduce caffeine, if that’s what you’re going for.
If you’re trying to cut down, Torres suggests switching to cold brew coffees, since they contain less caffeine. You could also switch to tea, which cup for cup contains less than half the caffeine of coffee. Barring that, there’s always decaf.
Caffeine Might Be More Effective in the Afternoon
Contrary to what many coffee aficionados believe, you don’t need a hit of caffeine as soon as you wake up. The reason behind this has to do with your cortisol levels.
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