Overcaffeinated safety weasel

TL/DR; just the tip: Drink coffee, but drink it carefully.

I love coffee. Coffee is often served hotter than I would like. I don’t want anything hotter than 150 ℉ (65 ℃). The hotter the beverage, the higher the possibility for scalds. My wife and I were on a road trip, and this conversation happened pretty much verbatim. She was kind enough to get me a cup of coffee while I filled the gas tank. The coffee arrived at a superheated temperature. I was afraid a harsh vibration would cause the whole cup to vaporize.

Steamy the Weasel says Only You can Prevent Coffee Crotch

For those born in this century: There was once a Lawsuit against McDonald’s about coffee that was too hot. There was even a Seinfeld episode about this phenomenon (back ye olden days). There’s also a documentary? I have not seen it yet.

That’s coffee tip #1. Don’t burn yourself.

The second is this: more is not necessarily better. I’m not suggesting giving up coffee or caffeine. But pay attention to how long it stays in your system. Rates of caffeine metabolism can vary by 40x (https://doi.org/10.1038/clpt.1991.176). Folks will need anywhere from a few hours to more than a day to clear the dose from a cup of coffee. If you drink more coffee every day than you metabolize in one day, you can build up to levels that cause side effects. These can include anxiety and poor sleep.

Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors. Adenosine makes you feel fatigued. You want coffee to wear off shortly before you are going to bed. Ideally, adenosine would peak just as your circadian rhythm is suggesting sleep.  But there’s no way to predict for each person how long that will take from the intake of caffeine to reach clearance. So it will require some experimentation. How many cups? What time should you switch to water? Sleep quality will tell you.

That’s coffee tip #2. Do science to it. Find the optimum for you.


P.S. Thanks to Connor Macphee who made the comic for me.