Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Caffeine and Smoking
Name: Susan
Status: Other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I read someone elses question on the "Affects of Caffeine".

I recently quit smoking, but I am still a very big coffee drinker.

I've noticed that now when I drink my coffee, I tend to get very agitated, uptight and tense.

My question to you, would be can nicotine draw caffeine out of a bodies system, or lesson the affects of caffeine on the body?

I have not intentions of going back to smoking, but I am puzzled by the caffeine situation I am having now.

I only seem to be totally strung out and uptight, and almost inraged after two cups of coffee, whereas before I could drink up to 2 pots if I wanted to.



Replies:
I'm not a physician, but here's my theory. Nicotine and caffeine are both stimulants. Maybe by using both (presumably throughout the day) you were keeping your body constantly a little buzzed. Without the cigarettes in between the coffee, you might just be noticing the highs and lows of caffeine when you drink it and as it wears off. Try decaf?

Christine Ticknor
Ph.D. Student
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut


I contacted a friend in the Pharmacology Dept. and here are his observations: The symptoms described are clearly xanthine [the family of pharmacologically active ingredients related to and including caffeine] excess related. Recommendation: cut back on coffee.

Two reasons for the lack of symptoms during nicotine use:

1. Smoking masked some of the symptoms via carbon monoxide intake that blunted the senses.

2. Nicotine may have induced caffeine metabolism. Caffeine half-life decreases in smokers.

Hope that helps, though it may be more than you actually wanted!

Cheers,

Dr. C. Dinsmore
Rush Medical School Chicago



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory