How Long Does It Take For Coffee To Kick In

How Long Does It Take For Coffee To Kick In

Drinking coffee in the morning can be part of your daily routine. We all know that coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and works your central nervous system. You drink coffee to stay awake and boost your energy. In fact, caffeine is advisable for managing conditions such as hypotension, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, apnea, and major depressive disorder. 

How long it takes for caffeine to kick in? 

Keep in mind that caffeine may kick in in your body depending on the mode of caffeine administration, concurrent substances, and genetic mediated differences in caffeine metabolism. Based on the US Institute of Medicine, about 99% of consumed caffeine can be absorbed through the GI tract takes 45 minutes of ingestion, and it was distributed throughout your body.

Research stated that if you consumed caffeinated beverage like coffee usually kicks in for about 10 to 20 minutes of ingestion. On the other hand, if you drink non-beverage caffeine like capsules or chewing gum, you can have different onset of action and absorption rate.

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As you ingest the caffeine in coffee, it acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist. It binds to the adenosine receptors and avoids activation. Caffeine prevents the neurotransmitter adenosine from agonizing receptors, which reduces fatigue and drowsiness. In addition, it modulates the activation of neurochemical targets to improve cognitive function, boost mental alertness and enhance physical performance. 

Remember that if used wisely, coffee can reduce your fatigue and improve your energy. Meanwhile, if you consumed it irresponsibly and became dependent on it, you may experience insomnia and headaches. 

What are the effects of coffee on your body? 

Now that you discovered how long it takes for coffee to kick in, let us know about its effects on your body. 

The caffeine from your coffee passes to your bloodstream from your stomach and small intestine. As it reaches the bloodstream, it will stimulate your central nervous system (brain, nerves, and spinal cord) to make you feel more alert and awake. 

It also lowers fatigue and enhances your concentration. Additionally, it may cause an acid release in the stomach, so you may have indigestion or heartburn after consuming coffee. Drinking coffee enhances dopamine signaling in your brain. Dopamine is a chemical that controls emotions, motivation, and movement. It can make you feel more energized as the signaling increases. 

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Coffee withdrawal

If you always drink coffee, you can experience withdrawal if you stop consuming it. Based on the American Heart Association, you can experience withdrawal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours from your last coffee. These symptoms are:

  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headache (most common symptom)

The withdrawal symptoms can be resolved within 48 hours. If you want to boost your energy without coffee, you can consider other options. You can drink more water, exercise regularly and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you learn more about caffeine in your coffee, consider the following frequently asked questions. 

What are the symptoms of consuming too much coffee? 

If you consume too much coffee, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Nervousness, headache, and dizziness
  • Feeling shaky or having ‘jitters’
  • Abnormal heartbeat or racing heart
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia or sleep that is ‘on and off throughout the night
  • Dehydration 

How much coffee is too much? 

Most adults in the US drink 200 mg of coffee per day. It is equivalent to four 12 ounce colas or two five-ounce cups of coffee. For most people, consuming four cups of coffee a day may not cause problems. However, caffeine may affect individuals differently depending on their gender, size, and sensitivity to it. 

If you’re sensitive to the caffeine content of your coffee, moderate drinking amounts can still cause rapid heart rate, insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. According to nutrition and health experts, consuming over 600 mg of caffeine daily is too much. 

Read also: How to Make your favorite drink Without a Coffee Maker

Who should avoid drinking coffee? 

It is a fact that coffee is among the favorite beverages of people. However, you should remember that it is not safe for all to have coffee on their diet. I suggest you consult a healthcare professional about how much is enough for your body to consume coffee. 

You should avoid drinking it and other caffeinated drinks if you:

  • Have GERD or ulcers
  • Have sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnant 
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have chronic headaches or migraines
  • Have anxiety
  • Teenager or child
  • Taking antibiotics, stimulants, heart medicines, and asthma medicines, since these medications can interact with caffeine
  • Have irregular or fast heartbeat

How can you flush out caffeine from your system?

Since caffeine is a diuretic, it can cause dehydration. By drinking lots of water, you can reduce dehydration. It can also lower the effects of caffeine jitters. 

What is the effect of coffee on your brain? 

The caffeine content in your coffee stimulates your central nervous system. It can make you feel awake and alert. Coffer can also boost the function of your brain. Caffeine blocks adenosine which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that can make you feel sleepy.

What is the negative effect of caffeine on your body? 

The caffeine in your beverage is a stimulant that increases blood pressure and heart rate, affecting your overall health. Even though most people can suffer mild adverse effects from coffee, long-term and short-term health risks are still possible. 

Is it bad for your heart? 

Caffeine in coffee comes with metabolic effects. The risk of coronary heart disease with high caffeine intake is still under study. Meanwhile, moderate coffee drinking is not harmful.


Generally, the coffee may kick in depending on several factors, as I mentioned above. Commonly, it kicks in for about 10 to 20 minutes of ingestion. Even though coffee has many benefits for your body, it also comes with specific drawbacks. With this, you should be responsible for consuming coffee to avoid its negative effects. 

It is not for everyone, so you should seek advice from your healthcare specialist before consuming coffee and other caffeinated beverages.