Today coffee (caffeine) has proven as modern day elixir, but many coffee lovers even don’t know how it affects our body central nervous system.
People cant start their day without having a cup of coffee, but what is the reason for this?
Is this what people feel fresh, active, energetic after having coffee!
But have we ever thought why this happens, What magic make this happen, What is present in the coffee which increases a human efficiency, ones working hours as well as keep fresh all the time.
You probably don’t know about how caffeine is enhancing your neurotransmitters when you have your cup of coffee. Yes, you don’t need a doctorate to tell that caffeine boosts energy, increases alertness and makes us feel good.
On this blog, I have written about caffeine which potentially activates your mind. Below I’m going to tell you how caffeine affects the various neurotransmitters in the brain in order to cause the effects it does.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the methylxanthine class. Caffeine also stimulates certain portions of the autonomic nervous system.
It is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is legal in nearly all parts of the world.
Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline purine, an alkaloid.
It is found in the nuts, seeds, or leaves of a number of plants and helps to protect them against predator insects and helps to prevent germination of nearby seeds.
The most well-known source of caffeine is the coffee bean. Beverages containing caffeine are ingested to prevent drowsiness and to improve performance.
Caffeine is used in:
- Orthostatic hypotension treatment.
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature Cognitive
- Apnea of prematurity as a primary treatment.
- Enhancing performance
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that reduces drowsiness and fatigue. At normal doses, caffeine has variable effects on learning and memory, but it generally improves wakefulness, concentration, reaction time and motor coordination. The desired effects arise approximately one hour after consumption, and the desired effects of a moderate dose usually subside after about three or four hours.
Caffeine can delay or prevent sleep and improves task performance during sleep deprivation.
- Caffeine improves athletic performance in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
- Moderate doses of caffeine can improve sprint performance, cycling and running time trial performance, endurance.
- Caffeine increases basal metabolic rate in adults.
- Caffeine improves muscular strength and power and may enhance muscular endurance.
To understand how caffeine manipulates the brain in these ways, we must first identify the bodily chemicals that caffeine effects. They are adenosine, adrenaline, and dopamine.
Caffeine Increases Alertness by Blocking Adenosine
Adenosine limits brain stimulation by blocking other neurotransmitters that excite the brain. Caffeine’s molecular structure is similar to adenosine. It binds to the same receptors that adenosine binds with, thereby blocking adenosine from reaching our brain.
Caffeine Boosts Energy by Increasing Adrenaline Production
By blocking adenosine, caffeine cause excitatory neurotransmitters to stimulate the brain and move freely causes an increase in neuron firing, and the pituitary gland notices the uptick in activity. The pituitary gland releases hormones that activate the adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline. Adrenaline is used to stimulate people’s bodies when they go into shock.
Adrenaline boosts energy by:
- Elevating the heart rate and increased blood pressure.
- Redirecting blood from some organs, like the stomach, to muscles, causing the liver to release sugars.
Caffeine Improves Mood by Delaying Dopamine Reabsorption
Caffeine increases the amount of dopamine in our brain by preventing reabsorption in the body. It slows the rate at which dopamine leaves our brains and returns to our bodies. This leads to an increase in dopamine levels for a short time, which make the body feel good.
Adrenaline is known for fight or flight response. It increases our metabolism and heart rate, it directs blood flow away from ‘unnecessary’ processes like digestion and it actually increases physical strength.
Cortisol is known as stress hormone and this can increase alongside adrenaline when you take in caffeine.
Serotonin is a chemical messenger that helps to elevate one’s mood. When caffeine increases the amount of cortisol, serotonin levels increase too to try and counterbalance this.
The average ‘half-life’ of caffeine is six hours meaning. And in the case of a smoker, then the nicotine will cut it in half so it will wear off after three hours.
Drink More Coffee
When we take that first sip of coffee, caffeine quickly moves through the bloodstream and triggers a release of catecholamines, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. At the same time, caffeine in coffee suppresses the appetite, which inhibits the body’s ability to produce more neurotransmitters. As a result, coffee provides a short-term solution that creates a long-term problem.
Caffeine Tolerance and Withdrawal
When brain levels are changed artificially, the brain reacts by changing its composition permanently in order to account for that. Through this, we can build up a ‘tolerance’ for caffeine.
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