What is Caffeine’s Role as a Stimulant and How does it Work?

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How does caffeine work as a stimulant? Caffeine, a naturally occurring chemical found in plants and food products–both processed and organic–is a stimulant. Caffeine is also a stimulant. It works by blocking the adenosine in your cells. This video will show you how it works.

These questions will be answered in this video (go straight for the time stamp).
What does caffeine do in the brain? (0: 33)
What does caffeine do to help with headaches? (1: 31)
How does caffeine hurt your sleep? (1: 56)
What is heavy caffeine intake? (2: 25)
What is the caffeine content of certain foods? (3: 08)
What are the side effects of caffeine? (5: 30)
When is the best time to stop drinking coffee? (7: 06)

For a more thorough explanation, see the following.
Adenosine can be found in cells of the brain, and other organs. It is a chemical that induces or brings on sleep by slowing down the cell’s activity.

Caffeine has a similar structure to the Adenosine molecule. When you drink coffee, the caffeine travels to your brain to bind to the cells. Your adrenal glands will not be able to send the signal for epinephrine to activate the fight or flight hormone if there is no adenosine.

Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, acts to increase alertness and heart rate. It constricts blood vessels.

This is what caffeine gives you – the adrenaline rush. Caffeine is often used in headache medicine because of the constriction to blood vessels caused by caffeine intake. The brain constricts blood vessels through the release of epinephrine, which allows the tissues to have more space and alleviates some of the tension that causes headaches.

Caffeine can affect your sleep in several ways.

It increases your sleep latency (the time it takes for you to fall asleep). It also reduces your total sleep time. These effects are more noticeable in older people.

Caffeine has a diuretic effect similar to alcohol. This causes the body’s water to evaporate.

What amount of caffeine is necessary to make you sleep better? It all depends on how long it takes to go to sleep.

Moderate caffeine intakes would be between 200 to 300mg daily.
Heavy caffeine intake would be 500mg/day or more.

What does this mean? Here is an example: 6: 40

Higher caffeine levels can be found in imported coffees and teas.
The brewing method will also impact the caffeine content.

The caffeine is absorbed through the stomach and small intestinal tract and into the bloodstream in 30 minutes to an hour. This is why a cup of coffee makes a great morning snack.

What about the half-life?
Half-life refers to the time taken for something to reduce to half its original size.
Although the half-life of caffeine is variable between studies, it is generally thought to last from 3 1/2 to 6 hours.
Some people may experience longer recovery times if they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications.
Birth control pills, for example, can slow down or inhibit the half-life of caffeine. This means that it takes between five and ten hours for caffeine levels to drop by half. The half-life of caffeine is also affected by liver disease and pregnancy.

Here’s an example:

Suppose you were to drink a tall Starbucks coffee at 9: 00am. This size contains 230mg caffeine. If we assume the caffeine carried a half-life of five hours, you would have approximately 130mg of caffeine in your system at 2: 00pm that afternoon from that single cup alone.

This is an approximate estimate, but experts advise against consuming caffeine after noon because of the variability in how our bodies metabolize caffeine. That’s me. People should have their last cup of coffee before noon.

Keep watching for the next video in this video: The effects of ageing on sleep.

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