I've long been interested in how long caffeine stays in my body and what are the effects at different concentrations and times. For example, a popular site erowid has metabolism curves for most illegal drugs, along with side effects. However, it's caffeine entry is mostly anecdotal experiences.

Here's an example of what cannabis metabolic curve looks like: enter image description here

Is there a similar metabolic curve with onset, total duration, peak, plateau for caffeine? Does the kind of coffee consumed affect the curve?


This might be helpful http://www.psych.nyu.edu/kuhllab/pdfs/Favila_Kuhl_2014.pdf

Hope this helps. It is the best thing I can find

Research paper: Stimulating memory consolidation (Serra E Favila & Brice A Kuhl)

Please note that research study found improvements in memory only at 200-300mg levels administered 2 days before the test:

enter image description here

  • Sorry, I had it but now I lost it
    – Stephan
    Jun 27 '15 at 12:37

Most medications approved by the FDA and used in a medical setting have such statistics. Caffeine is no exception. Most drug databases have listed pharmacokinetics for caffeine. Onset is listed as 15 to 45 minutes with peak concentrations as 30 minutes in adults. Half life for caffeine varies based on a number of factors. For adults it is listed as 4 to 5 hours, however, studies suggest it is generally less for smokers. It is much much longer for infants (52 to 96 hours) but generally by nine months of age, those numbers have dropped to similar levels seen in adults.

  • 1
    Is there a source you can link to?
    – Cascabel
    May 23 '15 at 17:03
  • Unfortunately, no. I took that from MicroMedex, which is a subscription based service requiring login. May 24 '15 at 23:19


No graph, but half life is listed as 3-7 hrs.

  • Thanks for the link to the drug database, I was not aware of that :)
    – Alex Stone
    Jun 29 '15 at 14:20

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