What Caffeine Does to the Body

The chemical name for the bitter white powder known as caffeine is 1,3,7 trimethylxanthine. Caffeine is absorbed within about 45 minutes after consuming, and peaks in the blood anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. [2] Caffeine in beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda is quickly absorbed in the gut and dissolves in both the body’s water and fat molecules. It is able to cross into the brain. Food or food components, such as fibers, in the gut can delay how quickly caffeine in the blood peaks. Therefore, drinking your morning coffee on an empty stomach might give you a quicker energy boost than if you drank it while eating breakfast.
Caffeine is broken down mainly in the liver. It can remain in the blood anywhere from 1.5 to 9.5 hours, depending on various factors. [2] Smoking speeds up the breakdown of caffeine, whereas pregnancy and oral contraceptives can slow the breakdown. During the third trimester of pregnancy, caffeine can remain in the body for up to 15 hours. [3]
People often develop a “caffeine tolerance” when taken regularly, which can reduce its stimulant effects unless a higher amount is consumed. When suddenly stopping all caffeine, withdrawal symptoms often follow such as irritability, headache, agitation, depressed mood, and fatigue. The symptoms are strongest within a few days after stopping caffeine, but tend to subside after about one week. [3] Tapering  the amount gradually may help to reduce side effects.