Benefits Of Caffeine: How Caffeine Improves Brain Function And Activity
Ishtiak Ahmed Chowdhury
Tags: Brain, Brain activity, Brain function, Dopamine, Serotonin, Adenosine antagonist, Coffee benefits, Caffeine benefits, Benefits of caffeine, Psychoactive drug
Take a guess! What do you think is the most popular psychoactive drug in the whole wide world?!
Coffee has been the staple non-alcoholic beverage of America since Captain John Smith, the founder of the first English settlement: colony of Virginia, introduced it here after his visits to Turkey. Back then in 1607, John Smith had no idea of what he had just accomplished!
Captain John Smith had introduced America to a substance so powerful that it would go on to become the most dominant psychoactive drug of the 21st century. Although times have changed and caffeine is not just available in coffee or tea it has also become available in various other edible forms. Energy drinks and energy shots are highly enriched with caffeine along with Taurine, an amino acid that is ubiquitously found in the human body.
However, the burning question is: does caffeine have a positive effect on the human brain?
Believe it or not, caffeine drastically improves brain function and activity. Although caffeine can induce dependence and high tolerability in moderation, it has tremendous benefits.
In summary, caffeine certainly has a positive effect on productivity as it improves brain function and activity. However, it must be administered in moderation.
Dont Miss: Trigeminal Headache Brain Freeze
What Are Caffeine’s Effects On The Body
Caffeine has many effects on your body’s metabolism. It:
- Stimulates your central nervous system, which can make you feel more awake and give you a boost of energy
- Is a diuretic, meaning that it helps your body get rid of extra salt and water by urinating more
- Increases the release of acid in your stomach, sometimes leading to an upset stomach or heartburn
- May interfere with the absorption of calcium in the body
- Increases your blood pressure
Within one hour of eating or drinking caffeine, it reaches its peak level in your blood. You may continue to feel the effects of caffeine for four to six hours.
What Does Caffeine Do To Your Body
Caffeine is well absorbed by the body, and the short-term effects are usually experienced between 5 and 30 minutes after having it. These effects can include increased breathing and heart rate, and increased mental alertness and physical energy. Depending on the individual, these effects can last up to 12 hours.
Some of the signs and symptoms of having too much caffeine include:
- a rise in body temperature
- frequent urination
- first feeling energetic but then having an even greater feeling of tiredness.
Don’t Miss: Why Do U Get Brain Freeze
Demographic And Psychological Data Analysis
CD and NCD groups were compared in terms of sociodemographic variables, frequency of consumption of caffeinated products, and psychological variables. Since the variables did not follow a normal distribution, nonparametric tests were applied . Moreover, multiple regression analyses were performed, aiming to determine the association between daily consumption of caffeinated products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. and the psychological data measured with the DASS-21 questionnaire , independently of the groups. These analyses were performed on Matlab2020a software and p< 0.05 was considered the threshold for statistical significance. Linear regression representations were generated in Prism 7 software .
Is Decaf Coffee Ok
The USDA requires that at least 97.5% of caffeine be removed from coffee in order for it to be labeled as decaffeinated. So the starting potency of coffee is very relevant to the potency of decaf. University of Florida researchers have measured up to 6.9 mg caffeine per 8 ounces of Starbucks brewed decaffeinated coffee, and up to 15.8 mg caffeine per 1 oz shot of Starbucks decaffeinated espresso.
Studies of caffeine dependency and tolerance have shown that daily caffeine users are actually more motivated to consume it to avoid withdrawal symptoms, than to experience the lift that its stimulant properties may provide. Caffeine’s combination of a punishing syndrome of withdrawal, along with a rewarding sense of wakefulness, has made coffee, tea, and chocolate some of humanity’s best loved foods. One might say that caffeine-producing plants have succeeded in motivating humans to cultivate them widely and with very great care.
It is important to emphasize that caffeine consumption is rarely the sole “cause” of frequent headaches including migraine. However, it is a modifiable risk factor, unlike many other unavoidable migraine triggers, that is often a significant and overlooked contributor to the problem. The moderation or elimination of caffeine use should be one component of a successful program of therapies for migraine sufferers â and it requires no prescription.
You May Like: Anesthesia Effects On Alzheimer Patients
How To Get Help
If you use a lot of caffeinedrinking the equivalent of more than three cups of tea or coffee per dayit may be negatively affecting your health, so lowering your intake is worth considering.
The best approach is to gradually taper your caffeine consumption. Doing this lowers your dependence gradually while minimizing the negative effects of withdrawal.
It is important to be aware of all of the different sources of your intake, including foods, energy drinks, caffeine, tea, and soft drinks. Try eliminating these sources progressively by replacing them with lower-caffeine or caffeine-free alternatives.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your caffeine use, or contact SAMSHA at 1-800-662-4357 to find mental health services in your area.
Drinking Caffeine Regularly Will Change Your Brain
Drinking Caffeine Regularly Will Change Your Brain
I do not need caffeine in the morning to kickstart my day. As a matter of fact, I dont drink coffee at all. Once, about 50 years ago, to be polite, I drank a half cup of coffee. I rarely drink caffeine-laden soft drinks and I never consume energy drinks.
This doesnt make me a better person. Ive often wondered if I was missing out on some benefits. After all, billions of people around the world seem to do fine drinking their coffee every day. A new study, though, makes me think that maybe my aversion to coffee has protected my brain in some way.
Researchers from the University of Basel have now shown in a study that regular caffeine intake can change the gray matter of the brain. The researchers observed changes in the gray matter, as they report in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Gray matter refers to the parts of the central nervous system made up primarily of the cell bodies of nerve cells, while white matter mainly comprises the neural pathways, the long extensions of the nerve cells.
The result was that sleep was unaffected regardless of whether they had taken the caffeine or the placebo capsules. But the researchers saw a significant difference in the gray matter that was related to whether the subjects had received caffeine or the placebo. After 10 days of placebo in other words, caffeine abstinence the volume of gray matter was greater than following the same period of time with caffeine capsules.
Read Also: Hemorrhagic Brain Lesions
How Much Caffeine Is Okay Each Day
How you react to caffeine depends on your body mass, health and metabolism. It also depends on whether your body is used to getting regular doses of caffeine and how much you have in one serving. Research suggests that 400mg per day or less is an acceptable dose of caffeine for the general population.
Approximate caffeine levels per serve include:
- chocolate drinks: 510mg per 250ml
- instant coffee: 80120mg per 250ml
- drip or percolated coffee: 150240mg per 250ml
- espresso coffees such as espresso or latte: 105110mg per 250ml
- black tea: 65105mg per 250ml
- cola drinks: 4049mg per 375ml
- Red Bull energy drink: 80mg per 250 ml
- energy drink: 160mg per 250ml
- dark chocolate bar: 40-50mg per 55g serve
- milk chocolate bar 10mg per 50g serve
- guarana: can contain up to 100mg per 1g of guarana
- caffeine tablets such as No-Doz 100mg per tablet.
Recommended Reading: What Does Fluoride Do To Your Brain
Energy Drinks And Caffeine
Energy drinks contain caffeine, as well as ingredients such as taurine and guarana . Energy drinks do not hydrate and should not be confused with sports drinks.
The caffeine and sugar content of energy drinks is high. In fact it is often higher than in soft drinks. The levels of caffeine in energy drinks vary between brands, so it is important to read the label before having them.
Children and pregnant women should avoid drinking energy drinks.
Read Also: Brain Bleed Elderly Survival Rate
Should You Stop Consuming It
Theres nothing wrong with a cup of coffee in the morning! Just make sure that youre not basing your whole existence around 6 cups a day.
The answer is still, it depends on your lifestyle, wants, and health. As long as youre conscious of your caffeine consumption and only take it in at healthy doses, there arent any huge health consequences from it .
It may also pay to look at what else is in your caffeine-filled beverages or foods. Energy drinks, in particular, contain taurine which is known for adverse health effects.
Basically, it comes down to being informed about what goes into your body and finding what works for you. If thats a cup of good ol coffee in the morning, go for it!
Also Check: Does Weed Make You Lose Brain Cells
Caffeine Helps Some Medicines Work Faster
If youve ever had a killer migraine, youve likely tried Excedrin, an over-the-counter medication marketed for these types of rare, severe headaches. In addition to traditional pain relieving ingredients like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, Excedrin contains caffeine.
That’s becuase there’s some evidence that caffeine helps certain pain-relieving medications, like acetaminophen and aspirin, take effect quicker, last longer, and be more effective.
A 2007 study of 24 people who took either a combination of caffeine and acetaminophen, just one or the other, or a placebo found that those whod taken both together saw a stronger decrease in pain symptoms an effect that also tended to last longer.
What Are Some Tips For Quitting Caffeine
Cut down slowly on the amount of caffeine in your diet. Dont make the mistake of stopping totally. Youll likely experience withdrawal symptoms and go back to drinking coffee or soda or taking a headache medication with caffeine in it to make the symptoms disappear. This starts the dependency cycle all over again. Avoiding the withdrawal symptoms is one of the most common reasons why people continue their caffeine habit.
To successfully reduce your caffeine intake, gradually reduce the amount of coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks you have each day. Begin to substitute cold caffeinated beverages with water. Water is a healthy choice and satisfies the need for drinking a liquid. Water also naturally flushes caffeine from your body and keeps you hydrated.
If you are a coffee drinker, gradually switch from regular coffee to decaf. First alternate between decaf and regular, then slowly change to more decaf and taper off regular coffee. Gradually reducing your caffeine consumption over a period of two to three weeks will help you successfully change your habit without causing withdrawal symptoms.
Three Things Caffeine Does In Your Brain
Whether were sipping it to get going in the morning or pounding it to stay awake later at night, our favorite psychoative drug is, as always, in high demand. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day according to recent estimatesover three cups each on averagedelivering a jolt upwards of 300 mg of caffeine before weve even started thinking about lunch. Not to mention our growing habit of chugging energy drinks that can contain several cups of coffees worth of caffeine in a single caneasily up to 500 mg. We’re hooked and in a big way.
And whats all of this caffeine doing in our brains? We know from a spate of recent research that theres some good news and bad news about our coffee habits, both for our brains and overall health. But more fundamentally, caffeine is doing some interesting things not long after it passes through the neural gates. Heres a quick breakdown of three effects.
Impersonate the guards
Caffeine is a chemical mimic, and it does a fantastic job of mimicking a particular biochemical called adenosine. Adenosine is known as a “neuromodulator” and it serves a variety of functions, including blood flow regulation and helping to keep our heads on straight by counterbalancing levels of other chemicals, including the “excitatory” ones. It’s produced throughout the day as neurons fire, and the nervous system monitors its levels.
Bring the boom
Spark the chaos
Recommended Reading: Jfks Brain
Drinking This Much Coffee Each Day May Lead To Brain Shrinkage And Increase Dementia Risk
How does your daily consumption stack up?
More than 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee daily, averaging about three cups per day, according to the National Coffee Association. At that rate , coffee acts as a pick-me-up that offers a surprisingly wide range of health benefits.
But new research published June 2021 in the journal Nutritional Neuroscienceproves thatlike with most things in lifethere can be too much of a good thing. After diving into 8 to 12 years of data collected about the coffee habits of more than 398,000 adults enrolled in a British study, the Australian research team discovered that sipping more than six cups of coffee per day was associated with a 53% increased risk of dementia and a smaller brain volume.
So while coffee can be good to give you a little energy buzz, it can be not so great for your brain healthif you consume it in large quantities. Those who reported drinking more than six cups daily had notable increases in the odds of dementia, the researchers say, or about 53% higher than their peers who drank one to two cups per day.
These findings held true even after the scientists accounted for lifestyle variations and other factors, and were found among both men and women at a wide variety of ages. The more java people drank over six cups per day, the more brain shrinkage they experienced, as determined by MRI scans.
Read Also: What Is Serotonin In The Brain
Coffee Drinking Tied To Beneficial Brain Changes
April 23, 2021 — Drinking coffee on a regular basis appears to enhance concentration and improve motor control and alertness by creating changes in the brain, a new study suggests.
The study also found coffee drinkers had increased activity in parts of the brain consistent with an improved ability to focus.
“For the general public, the take-home message is that we now know better how the regular intake of coffee prepares your brain for action and prompt response,” senior author Nuno Sousa, MD, professor at the University of Minho in Portugal, told Medscape
The study was April 20 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Coffee holds “particular interest for human health, in view of its short-term effects on attention, sleep, and memory and its long-term impact on the appearance of different disease and on healthy span of aging,” the authors write. However, despite its “widespread use,” little research has focused on the “effects of its chronic consumption on the brain’s intrinsic functional networks.”
Rather, he noted, the investigators’ motivation was to investigate the impact of regular coffee intake on brain connectivity, sometimes described as the “signature” of regular coffee drinking.
For the study, coffee drinkers were defined as those who drank more than one cups of coffee a day.
Although this is “only an association and not a causal finding, it reminds us that coffee can be a double-edged sword.â
Also Check: Diffuse Slowing Eeg
One Cup Of Coffee Could Boost Your Memory For Up To A Day
Thats according to astudy published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, which found that caffeine strengthened memory for up to 24 hours after consumption. The amount used in the study was 200 mg or about as much as youd find in a 12-ounce cup of coffee.
Caffeine might also help us cope with dull tasks and recall straightforward information from memory. In onestudy, participants given moderate to high doses of caffeine reported feeling less bored after performing a repetitive task and were able to recall lists of words better than non-caffeinated participants.
But Some Of Caffeine’s Benefits May Come From The Fact That It’s Hooked Us
Some research suggests that caffeines perceived benefits arent really benefits at all.
For some, these studies suggest, all of the positive effects of caffeine from better mood to improved memory and attention span may be the result of a dose of caffeine temporarily reversing the effects of longer-term withdrawal from the drug.
In other words, when someone whos hooked on coffee stops drinking it, going without the drink might make them feel tired and less attentive. When they start drinking it again, their performance may only increase because the brain and body had already become addicted to caffeine.
Also Check: How To Shrink A Brain Tumor Naturally
And This Is Your Brain On Caffeine A Few Hours After The Fact
Eventually, though, the caffeine will loosen from the receptors, allowing the adenosine back in. After about six hours, youâll only feel about half the effects of your caffeinated beverage of choice â and when you wake up in the morning, youâll actually be experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. Thatâs when youâll probably reach for the first cup of the day again, and, wellâ¦ I believe the words âviciousâ and âcycleâ apply.
Head on over to Business Insider to watch the whole video. Is anyone else thinking that maybe it might be time to lighten up on the java?