Caffeine and Genes – Beverage Genetics

Caffeine and Genes

It's nice to know more about how the body uses caffeine. We've been consuming it for around 500 years, and there's still a buzzing scientific community that studies it. We draw information from these scientists, who provide information to help us improve the Custom Coffee Quiz. 

Below is a "brief" intro to one of the founding principles of Beverage Genetics how the body clears caffeine. It starts out light, like a latte; then gets a little heavy, like a ristretto. 

An abundance of adenosine can make you feel sleepy or less alert. Caffeine is an adenosine blocker in the human body. That blocking action of adenosine is what keeps us alert and active, and from being boring at the end of a dinner party. Insert dopamine into the conversation. Dopamine is the feel-good molecule in our brains. When caffeine displaces adenosine in our body, you can get that feel-good vibration from dopamine. It’s a one - two punch of awesome. Well ... unless you have too much of it, or take it away too quickly which is why getting the right amount of caffeine is so important.

The average Canadian drinks approximately 210 milligrams of caffeine (1,3,7 Trimethylpurine) per day, or 1.2 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. However, recommendations for caffeine consumption relate to mass and do not take individualized caffeine clearance rates into consideration.

1.The molecular pathways and pharmacokinetics for caffeine enzymatic metabolism have been well characterized as seen in the featured image. Well understood genetic polymorphisms guide the production of metabolic enzymes for the processing of caffeine within the P450 cytochorme pathway.

2. Genes associated with the CYP1A2 have also been characterized, and outlined in detail.

3. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) have been linked to individualized results and outcomes for caffeine metabolism. These SNPs can be measured using well established consumer genetics protocols, which allow us to inform you about the amount of caffeine your liver can process, and therefore recommend an appropriate amount of caffeine to you based on your SNPs at the associated regions of interest.


We peek at these SNPs to ensure that we are able to match you with the right coffee blend, for peak enjoyment. To us, that means avoiding some of the side effects you may have felt from your previous coffee, while still enjoying some of the benefits caffeine can provide. Get the right amount of caffeine to help you wake up in the morning, and run your day without the irritating side effects of over caffeination. Ultimately, we want you to be able to sleep peacefully at night.  


We know there'll be questions. We value your interest in Beverage Genetics and how caffeine affects your body. Fire away in the Contact Us page, and one of our experts will reach out to start a conversation.