It is commonly said that the fuel of the world is oil, but if we had to say what the fuel of today’s society is, the answer would probably be coffee.
To give an idea of the roots of this drink in our lives, in the US alone, more than 500 million cups are drunk on average per day; that is, about 2 cups per person.
In part, in addition to its taste and social roots, the popularity of coffee is due to the fact that it has a powerful and addictive substance popularly known as caffeine.
Caffeine is nothing more than a type of psychoactive drug that has stimulating effects on the nervous system (which is why it is said to “wake you up”).
Although, as its name implies, most caffeine only with coffee beans. In reality, the substance can be found in different types of tea, energy drinks and fruits such as guarana.
But what effects does caffeine have on the body and why are we so dependent on it?
1. Prevents you from falling asleep
Without a doubt the best known effect of all.
Caffeine works this way. In the previous moments when we go to sleep or when we are sleepy, a molecule is released in our brain called adenosine that causes a decrease in neuronal activity. Meanwhile, when coffee or energy drink is ingested, caffeine absorbs adenosine from the blood.
Unlike other stimulants with immediate effect, caffeine usually takes a little longer in the current. However, it has a very prolonged effect that makes it ideal to take in the morning to wake up.
2. Increase your energy
That “extra energy” feeling is also one of the most popular effects of caffeine.
By blocking adenosine (as mentioned in the previous point) the neurons can no longer make the connections, and as a side effect, a small amount of adrenaline and other substances are released that make the heartbeat increase and the level of sugars in the holy.
In the end that little “high” makes your energy level increase.
3. Help consent
Aside from absorbing slowing molecules in the blood, caffeine is also a facilitator of serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters that help the brain to “talk to itself” more easily. Norepinephrine is another neurotransmitter that is produced in various parts of the body, and it is especially good for speeding up brain function, improving concentration, and memory recovery.
Although it can improve your consent, it must also be borne in mind that caffeine withdrawal (especially in people who consider it ‘addicted’), can cause the opposite effect.
4. Improves mood
Another side effect of serotonin and dopamine (see the previous point).
By the way, according to studies, regular caffeine users are less likely to suffer from depression (about 15% less).
5. Activates the digestive system
Have you ever heard the phrase: “you don’t want a coffee for digestion”? If so, accept it because it can really serve you.
Caffeine affects muscles, increases activity, and speeds up contractions, including of course, the intestines. Caffeine is also known to increase the production of some hormones that act directly on the colon, making it a good alternative for people suffering from entertainment.
6. Soothe headaches and migraines
By far the most common medical use for caffeine is to relieve headaches.
When you stress the muscles of the head (mainly the neck and forehead), the blood vessels dilate and this causes pain. Meanwhile, caffeine, being a vasoconstrictor (that is, it constricts the blood vessels), helps to considerably reduce tension.
Similarly, caffeine is very effective in combating the symptoms of migraine. Even the strongest medications for this type of pain often have caffeine in their formulas.
7. Can cause headaches and migraines
Ironically in high doses. In people who are not so used to it, or who suffer from hypersensitivity, caffeine can also cause migraines, headaches, and increased blood pressure.
8. Reflux and heartburn
Although caffeine has no apparent relationship with heartburn problems, the truth is that most foods that have this substance (such as coffee and mate) can cause stomach upset if taken in excess.
9. Create dependence
Although caffeine can be considered as a little invasive drug and even beneficial for our day to day, the truth is that it can cause physical and psychological dependence in consumers.
As with any other addictive substance, when you are a regular user there will come a time when the body asks you for more and more of that substance. And with caffeine in particular, when the dose is suddenly decreased it can cause various discomforts such as headache, irritability, lack of consent and insomnia.
As the popular phrase says: “everything in excess is bad.”