The affects of caffeine on the body
Drugs stimulate the brain, constrict blood vessels, increase blood pressure, affect neurons, cause heart palpitations, postpone need for sleep, enhance alertness and euphoria, and become highly addictive. What two drugs have these things in common? Caffeine and amphetamines. Many don’t realize the similarities between these two popular drugs, but they’re very real. Caffeine affects the brain similarly to the way amphetamine does, but at a milder level and causes significantly less problems.
To understand the functionality of caffeine, one must first grasp the concept of adenosine. The receptors in the brain can take in different chemicals, one of which is adenosine. This chemical binds with a receptor and slows the activity within the nerve cell. The slowing of the brain dilates blood vessels, slows down body processes, and results in a drowsy feeling within the body. Caffeine interferes with the adenosine’s ability to affect the brain.
When caffeine is introduced into the brain, it binds up the adenosine receptor. The receptors believe the caffeine is adenosine and binds the nerve. However, the affects that would otherwise can no longer occur and put the user to sleep. The nerve cells speed up and blood vessels constrict. Neurons fire up, and the pituitary glands begin to suspect something is amiss, thus sending the body into “fight or flight” mode, releasing adrenaline throughout the body.
When adrenaline is released into the body at these levels all day, a few things happen. Some are easily felt, such as an increased breathing and heart rate. Other things, such as a slower blood flow to the stomach, the liver releasing sugars into the blood, and dilated pupils are not quite as easily felt. The sugars are released to provide the body with extra energy, because an elevated heart rate requires the body to work harder. Many other affects happen to the body, including dehydration, increased urination, and, in some bodies, diarrhea.
Caffeine is a drug. It alters and affects the brain, sometimes positively and other times negatively. It increases dopamine levels, which are the pleasure neurotransmitters. It’s also addictive, and its withdrawals will leave the user exhausted, depressed, and dealing with throbbing headaches.
Whether it’s green tea, chocolate, coffee, or an energy drink such as a Monster or a Rockstar, caffeine comes in all sorts of packages at all sorts of amounts. Caffeine does not kill and it does not normally hurt people, but take in excess can raise heart rates to dangerously fast speeds. In certain doses, however, it may be beneficial to the user for their purposes, such as staying awake late at night to finish writing a paper or even just to play games later at night. Always remember to use carefully and in moderation and to get plenty of sleep.