Caffeine, for a lot of people is the start of their day. Have you ever heard that it can boost your mood though? It has been proven that caffeine affects the central nervous system and has other advantages to brain functions.
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When we wake up, our brain starts the production of the chemical adenosine which promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. In a nutshell, when caffeine is present in the brain, it inhibits the functionality of adenosine, therefore making you feel less drowsy. However, adenosine eventually realizes this and new receptors get produced which is why people who have long nights drink 4-5 cups of coffee to continue to block the brain’s signal telling you to sleep. During this same process, caffeine allows other promoting compounds such as dopamine and glutamine freely circulate the body. Dopamine, the “feel-good” drug and glutamine assists in the functionality of the nervous system thus results in an elevated mood.
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Personally, I do not find the effects of caffeine as strong as it is perceived to be, but I feel it differs depending on how each individual’s body deals with caffeine intake. Some drink coffee and tea to start their day or push through a stressful week or maybe simply because it tastes good.
It was found that in Canada and the US, people drink about 1 cup of coffee per day, the largest coffee drinking nation was found to be the Netherlands averaging about 2.5 cups per day. Too much caffeine leads to a variety of factors such as anxiety and addiction. Light caffeine intake will allow the most health benefits that come from one of the world’s most popular beverages.
What is the first thing you do to make yourself less tired? In order to stay awake to work or study, most people consume caffeine for mental alertness . Caffeine is not only included in coffee, but also included in tea, coke, chocolates, energy drinks, and other products that we regularly consume in our daily lives. Caffeine works by stimulating the adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals.
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Although caffeine can help people by energizing them instantly, it can also affect people negatively. If more than 300 mg of caffeine consumed in one day, which are approximately three cups of coffee or three to four cans of soda, it may allow people to stay fully awake. However, the most frightening side effect of excessive amount of caffeine is insomnia, which can caused by six or more cups of coffee (approximately 250 mg of caffeine). From insomnia, one’s work performance and quality of life may be affected negatively.
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Caffeine can also cause an increase in stress hormones because when a heart beats faster by the consumption of caffeine, it decreases the blood supply to the intestines. Due to the decrease in the blood supply, it may lead to the indigestion.
Can there be any other severe negative effects of caffeine that may have on humans’ health? In 2011, a study by British Journal of Pharmacology stated that caffeine could possibly reduce the chance of fertility in women because caffeine crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus. Also, University of Nevada School of Medicine showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s fertility rate by about 27%. Therefore, due to immature metabolism of caffeine in fetus, caffeine can build up toxic levels in fetus, which leads to a higher chance of miscarriage and low birth weight of newborn babies.
What can we do to minimize the possible negative consequences from excessive caffeine consumption? Most people unconsciously become addicted to caffeine due to the desire for wide awakeness. Instead of searching for caffeine-containing drinks or food, it is better to get more sleep or consume other essential nutrients that make you less tired. Therefore, your eating or exercise pattern can be modified in the replacement of excess consumption of caffeine.
Author: Victoria Park