Coffee Brain: Your Brain on Caffeine

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After oil, coffee is the most traded commodity on earth. For many, it keeps people awake from those busy days.

When your awake, a molecule called adenosine slowly accumulates in your brain. Adenosine binds to receptors that slow down the brain’s activity. The more adenosine you build up, the more tired you feel. As the longer you stay awake, the more fatigue develops.

Conversely, well you sleep, adenosine concentration declined gradually, promoting wakefulness. It turns out that the caffeine molecule is very similar in structure to adenosine.

Coffee Brain

It works its way through the bloodstream to your brain, where it starts and competes with binding to adenosine receptors, but because it is not adenosine, The sleepiness effect does not happen.

Adenosine can’t bind, meaning its calming assets are reduced, which is excellent for the user when they feel tired. However, coffee over the long-term makes it, so your brain creates more adenosine receptors.

This means more coffee is now required to acquire the desired response.

This means when you try to quit coffee or miss your daily intake, you may experience some symptoms of withdrawal, and they feel more tired than one would have before you ever started drinking coffee

Caffeine also stimulates the production of adrenaline, the flight or fight hormone that increases your heart rate, as it gets your blood pumping and even opens your airways.

Furthermore, it affects dopamine levels preventing its reabsorption in the brain, making the user feel happy.

This is precisely what cocaine does, but of course, to a much lesser degree. Dopamine stimulation is the aspect of coffee that makes it moderately addictive.

Can You Drink Too Much Coffee?

The lethal dose of coffee is 150 mg of caffeine per kilogram of the body.

This means if you weigh 80 kg, you would need 15,000 mg of caffeine to be lethal.

The average cup of coffee contains 150 mg of caffeine, meaning if you are 80 kg, you would need 80 cups of coffee to overdose.

However, you would somehow have to drink all those cups of coffee at once.

You are making it virtually impossible to overdose on java. But, unfortunately, you would also start to experience hallucinations and mania before ever reaching death from it.

Caffeine has a half-life of around 6 hours, so if you drank a cup with about 150 mg of caffeine after about six hours, there would be 75 mg leftover in your system, and you will be feeling half of the effect.

Six hours after that, you will have 37.5 mg leaving more room for adenosine to come back into action.

Drink up and feel the buzz.

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Dean Mathers


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