Caffeine us feel tired and sleepy. Caffeine, then, acts

Caffeine is no stranger to most people—it is the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug and it is available to almost everyone who wants a fix. It comes from a variety of sources such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and even weight loss supplements. In each of these products, caffeine is advertised to increase alertness, boost memory, and promote athletic performance. Caffeine acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system; it keeps us awake and alert by blocking sleep inducing molecules in our body called adenosine. Since the human body is in constant need for energy, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is broken down to provide for that need. In the process of breaking down ATP, adenosine is released and docks onto the receptors in the brain which activate biochemical reactions that slows down the release of salient brain signaling molecules. This is what makes us feel tired and sleepy. Caffeine, then, acts as an antagonist and slows down the neurons by blocking the adenosine receptors. Since caffeine and adenosine have similar molecular structures, caffeine can slip into the adenosine receptors just enough that it would not activate it. In short, adenosine inhibits neurons, whereas caffeine blocks the inhibitor, so it stimulates and keeps us alert. Moreover, caffeine is shown to improve the consolidation of long term memory in humans. In a study on Nature “Post-Study Caffeine Administration Enhances Memory Consolidation in Humans.” participants were given either a 200-mg dose of caffeine or placebo after being subjected to a study session where they were given the task to study images of objects (1). A day after they were also given the dose/placebo before the test and result showed that those who were given the caffeine were able to distinguish the objects similar from the images they had studied the day prior. Evidently, caffeine helped boost the participants’ memory which allowed them to do well on the test. This is because caffeine blocks adenosine, an inhibitor of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory storage and retrieval.   Caffeine is also considered an ergogenic aid—substances used to improve exercise and athletic performance. Studies show that a large caffeine intake after exercise improved muscle glycogen synthesis, which improves athletic performance (2).  Furthermore, a study in 2015 examined the effectiveness of caffeinated energy drinks by studying randomly chosen female volleyball players after they consumed an energy drink(4). Another group of volleyball players, also randomly chosen, were given a placebo drink, missing the caffeine. Players who drank the caffeinated drink exhibited increased physical capabilities, including jump height and the ability to hit the ball harder. Although Caffeine’s role as a diuretic is disputed, its effects as a neurological stimulant are not. The increase in awareness and perceived increase in energy is for caffeine to be considered as an energy boosting substance, usable in dietary supplements, energy drinks, and even sodas. In these differing combinations, the effectiveness of the supplement will depend on both the amount of caffeine and the additional ingredients used. While most individuals can afford a low use of caffeine safely, the dangers associated with caffeine are still present, particularly to individuals who are sensitive to it. A case study published in August 2018 examines a 27-year-old individual undergoing military training who took a pill stated to contain 200 mg of caffeine. Due to his extremely low exposure to caffeine on a regular basis, he was sensitive to the neurological effects of caffeine, resulting in mood swings and tremors. Although the study did not observe any other individuals, the individual was an otherwise healthy male with no medical history of neurological disorders or drug use. While the study mentions that the mental stress of training would have an effect, it also points to the possibility of unmentioned ingredients within the caffeine pill. The largely neurological symptoms indicate that caffeine toxicity still played a major role in this case. Even when ingredients are mentioned, caffeine supplements can pose a risk to individuals regardless of their sensitivity to caffeine. Energy drinks popular with young adults and teenagers can negatively affect their health due to the high quantities of the beverage consumed. The infamous heart murmur experienced after consuming too many energy drinks is not just a coincidence between individuals, but clear evidence of how a high caffeine intake can harm young adults. In an article published in October 2015, the numerous effects that energy drinks had on young individuals were pulled from studies pointing towards a negative impact on health(3). A case study of two males, 14 and 16, states that neither have a medical history of cardiac events yet both experienced chest pains and heart palpitations due to the energy drinks they had consumed(6). The additional neurological symptoms of caffeine toxicity on top of the increase in blood glucose levels brought on by the excessive levels of sugar in the beverage do not help either.In summary, small to moderate doses of caffeine are useful in the context of increasing awareness of one’s surroundings. It is also shown to have an impact on physical performance. At first this supplement seems helpful, but because of the potential to misuse or overdose on caffeine it is not recommended for everyone to use it. Caffeine is no stranger to most people—it is the world’s most widely used psychoactive drug and it is available to almost everyone who wants a fix. It comes from a variety of sources such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and even weight loss supplements. In each of these products, caffeine is advertised to increase alertness, boost memory, and promote athletic performance. Caffeine acts as a stimulant for the central nervous system; it keeps us awake and alert by blocking sleep inducing molecules in our body called adenosine. Since the human body is in constant need for energy, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is broken down to provide for that need. In the process of breaking down ATP, adenosine is released and docks onto the receptors in the brain which activate biochemical reactions that slows down the release of salient brain signaling molecules. This is what makes us feel tired and sleepy. Caffeine, then, acts as an antagonist and slows down the neurons by blocking the adenosine receptors. Since caffeine and adenosine have similar molecular structures, caffeine can slip into the adenosine receptors just enough that it would not activate it. In short, adenosine inhibits neurons, whereas caffeine blocks the inhibitor, so it stimulates and keeps us alert. Moreover, caffeine is shown to improve the consolidation of long term memory in humans. In a study on Nature “Post-Study Caffeine Administration Enhances Memory Consolidation in Humans.” participants were given either a 200-mg dose of caffeine or placebo after being subjected to a study session where they were given the task to study images of objects (1). A day after they were also given the dose/placebo before the test and result showed that those who were given the caffeine were able to distinguish the objects similar from the images they had studied the day prior. Evidently, caffeine helped boost the participants’ memory which allowed them to do well on the test. This is because caffeine blocks adenosine, an inhibitor of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in memory storage and retrieval.   Caffeine is also considered an ergogenic aid—substances used to improve exercise and athletic performance. Studies show that a large caffeine intake after exercise improved muscle glycogen synthesis, which improves athletic performance (2).  Furthermore, a study in 2015 examined the effectiveness of caffeinated energy drinks by studying randomly chosen female volleyball players after they consumed an energy drink(4). Another group of volleyball players, also randomly chosen, were given a placebo drink, missing the caffeine. Players who drank the caffeinated drink exhibited increased physical capabilities, including jump height and the ability to hit the ball harder. Although Caffeine’s role as a diuretic is disputed, its effects as a neurological stimulant are not. The increase in awareness and perceived increase in energy is for caffeine to be considered as an energy boosting substance, usable in dietary supplements, energy drinks, and even sodas. In these differing combinations, the effectiveness of the supplement will depend on both the amount of caffeine and the additional ingredients used. While most individuals can afford a low use of caffeine safely, the dangers associated with caffeine are still present, particularly to individuals who are sensitive to it. A case study published in August 2018 examines a 27-year-old individual undergoing military training who took a pill stated to contain 200 mg of caffeine. Due to his extremely low exposure to caffeine on a regular basis, he was sensitive to the neurological effects of caffeine, resulting in mood swings and tremors. Although the study did not observe any other individuals, the individual was an otherwise healthy male with no medical history of neurological disorders or drug use. While the study mentions that the mental stress of training would have an effect, it also points to the possibility of unmentioned ingredients within the caffeine pill. The largely neurological symptoms indicate that caffeine toxicity still played a major role in this case. Even when ingredients are mentioned, caffeine supplements can pose a risk to individuals regardless of their sensitivity to caffeine. Energy drinks popular with young adults and teenagers can negatively affect their health due to the high quantities of the beverage consumed. The infamous heart murmur experienced after consuming too many energy drinks is not just a coincidence between individuals, but clear evidence of how a high caffeine intake can harm young adults. In an article published in October 2015, the numerous effects that energy drinks had on young individuals were pulled from studies pointing towards a negative impact on health(3). A case study of two males, 14 and 16, states that neither have a medical history of cardiac events yet both experienced chest pains and heart palpitations due to the energy drinks they had consumed(6). The additional neurological symptoms of caffeine toxicity on top of the increase in blood glucose levels brought on by the excessive levels of sugar in the beverage do not help either.In summary, small to moderate doses of caffeine are useful in the context of increasing awareness of one’s surroundings. It is also shown to have an impact on physical performance. At first this supplement seems helpful, but because of the potential to misuse or overdose on caffeine it is not recommended for everyone to use it.

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