Scientists Make An Algorithm To Help You Find Your Ideal Amount Of Daily Caffeine
Many of us consume caffeine on a daily basis, but don’t know exactly how much is enough. We usually just tune into how our bodies feel to see if we’ve overdone it (hello, jitters), need an extra boost (damn you, yawns) or happened to strike just the right balance. But now, there’s a much easier way to find your caffeine sweet spot, thanks to new research published in the Journal of Sleep Research.
The researchers behind the recent study developed an algorithm to help people optimize their caffeine intake and the time at which they consume it to be their most alert, productive selves. Better yet, the equation factors in all kinds of sleep loss, meaning that no matter what kind of night you’ve had, this algorithm can help you know how much coffee will help you perform at your peak the following day. (Talk about life-changing.)
“We found that by using our algorithm, which determines when and how much caffeine a subject should consume, we can improve alertness by up to 64 percent, while consuming the same total amount of caffeine,” senior study author Jaques Reif, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Alternatively, a subject can reduce caffeine consumption by up to 65 percent and still achieve equivalent improvements in alertness.”
The algorithm, which was developed at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, Maryland, gathers user-provided information on an individual’s sleep/wake schedule and their maximum caffeine consumption and then uses those data points to create a caffeine-dosing strategy for the day for that individual. It’s the first of its kind to produce customized dosing recommendations that not only keep caffeine consumption at a safe level, but also maximize alertness when the person needs it most.
While this equation was developed specifically for military applications, the U.S. Army is currently looking into ways they can license this new software and create and an app that will work on any commercial iPhone or Android smartphone. But if you can’t wait to gain access to your customized caffeine consumption profile, you can register with the Biotechnology HPC Software Applications Institute and give the proof-of-concept software a try online.
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