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For many people, a mid-day coffee break helps boost alertness and increase productivity. It turns out there’s a science to coffee-drinking, and it’s more complicated than deciding between a latte and an espresso.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a free iPhone app called Caffeine Zone that helps users maintain their blood caffeine levels in the best range for optimal mental performance, while limiting potential negative effects — such as sleeplessness — later in the day.
From Penn State:
The researchers used peer-reviewed studies as input data to determine that caffeine drinkers with between 200 and 400 milligrams of caffeine in their bloodstream are in an optimal mental alertness zone. For sleep, the researchers set a lower threshold of 100 milligrams. Drinkers may have sleep problems if they remain above this.
The app can…help people determine when to modify their caffeine habits, so that they might choose to drink a decaffeinated beverage, or mix a blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees.
Users supply the app with information about when and what type of caffeinated beverages they consume, and the app makes suggestions about timing of future beverage breaks. The app is available on iTunes for free (with advertisements) or for purchase (without advertisements) and only works on Apple devices.
Source: Penn State Live