There has always been an art to making a good coffee – and now there is a science.
A revolutionary algorithm that tells you how much caffeine you need to consume to stave off tiredness has been developed by the US military.
The ingenious method – that will no doubt be welcomed by commuters up and down the country - was developed by the US Army and Department of Defense so that soldiers have enough energy when they are sleep-deprived.
Scientists found an exact measure of caffeine could stop fatigue and keep troops focused in order to avoid catastrophic and possibly life-threatening consequences out in the field.
But non-military personnel may also take advantage of the guidelines to stay alert. a
Research based on decades of sleep-deprivation studies advises those who do not get enough rest to consume 200 milligrams of caffeine – or two regular cups of coffee - when they wake up and another 200 milligrams four hours later.
Those who work nights are told to consume 200 milligrams at the beginning of the shift. A regular coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine.
But timings may change as the algorithm takes into account how much someone has slept and works out a personalised caffeine regime in the hope to boost a person’s efficiency by up to 40 per cent.
Someone who has slept for five hours and wakes up at 6am may have their first cup of coffee at 7am and their second at 9am.
Jaques Reifman, a senior research scientist who helped develop the algorithm told the Wall Street Journal: ‘If you could come to work, drink caffeine and have your mental acuity improved by 40 per cent for four hours, wouldn’t you like that? That’s what we’re trying to do here.’
At the moment, the software is not in the public domain but Army top brass hope to license the technology and create a smartphone app. A simplified version of the mathematical method and guidelines is available on website, 2B Alert.
Particularly special is the algorithm’s ability to learn, so that over time it will remember the user’s habits and tailor their caffeine regime accordingly.