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Thread: How much coffee is best? Americano soldiers give it their best shot

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    Default How much coffee is best? Americano soldiers give it their best shot

    The US military is coming to the rescue of fatigued civilians with an algorithm that tells you exactly how much coffee to drink to maintain peak performance.


    The “caffeine optimisation tool” has been designed to “maximise alertness while avoiding excessive caffeine consumption”.


    Tests have suggested that the system, called 2B-Alert, easily outperforms the US army’s guidelines on caffeine use. It helped subjects to cut their caffeine intake by as much as two thirds without diminishing their alertness. The tool, available to use online, allows a user to specify their desirable peak alertness periods, their sleeping schedule, the minimum level of alertness they want to maintain and the maximum daily caffeine intake.


    Jaques Reifman, a senior research scientist for the US army, said: “If you pull an all-nighter, need to be at peak alertness between, say, 9am and 5pm and desire to consume as little caffeine as possible — when and how much caffeine should you consume? This is the type of question 2B-Alert was designed to answer.”


    For decades the US military has plied servicemen with amphetamines, steroids and painkillers in the name of improving performance. More recently it has turned to stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall in the hope of bolstering cognitive stamina and memory.


    But few substances have proved as useful in combating exhaustion and boredom as caffeine. The US army prizes its ability to improve “risk-related judgment and impulsiveness” during prolonged sleep deprivation. The ready meals provided to troops in battle have contained caffeine-fortified snacks, such as beef jerky and apple sauce.


    The algorithm offers advice on when they should be consumed. For instance, an average person who gets six hours’ sleep, wakes at 7am and wants to be alert between 10.30am and 6.30pm is advised to consume 200mg of caffeine — equal to about a large mug of filter coffee — at 10am and again at noon.


    Tests suggests that the “caffeine solutions” proposed by the algorithm either required on average 40 per cent less caffeine or enhanced alertness by an 40 per cent, compared with how US troops had used coffee. The research was published in the journal Sleep.


    The High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute of the US army has been working on the algorithm for several years. Its researchers had suggested that the algorithm could be embedded in a smartphone app that could be used by people who must deal with irregular hours.


    The institute has also created a “psycho-motor vigilance task test” that measures the speed at which people respond to a visual stimulus and gauges how alert they are.


    The researchers have suggested that this could be part of an app that also utilises sleep data from fitness-tracking devices to generate bespoke sleep and caffeine schedules.

    Thetimes.co.uk
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    Elite Member Mrs P's Avatar
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    Interesting. I recently have been having bad acid reflux and other issues that I first thought was from food poisoning, but doctor said I'm drinking too much caffeine.
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