The Good and Bad of Caffeine: Why Do You Like Coffee?

Do you begin each morning with a cup of coffee to get you ready to start the day? Caffeine has become such a part of our lifestyle that we rarely address it as what it actually is: the world’s most commonly used psychoactive drug. Read on to discover the psychological and physical effects of coffee and awesome alternatives to boost your energy:

Psychological Effects of Coffee

  • Blocks adenosine - When caffeine hits the brain it suppresses a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine influences attention, alertness, and sleep. It builds up in your brain as the day goes on. After adenosine reaches a certain level, your body begins to feel sleepy. Drinking caffeine blocks adenosine, which activates chemicals glutamate and dopamine, giving you a surge of energy. “With regular consumption your body becomes dependent on this boost of energy, later developing into withdrawals symptoms including anxiety and irritability,” neurologist Dr. R. E. Shapiro of the University of Vermont explains.
  • Pumps up levels of adrenaline - Caffeine releases adrenaline and puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state. The most common side effects of caffeine include anxiety and irritability. “Large doses of caffeine raise blood pressure, and stimulate the heart,” according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Increases Serotonin - Caffeine also increases serotonin, a chemical which boosts your mood. This is why a morning cup of coffee can make someone excited to start the day. However, when you consume caffeine in excess, it can have harmful effects. For instance, your brain adapts to the presence of caffeine and without it you experience withdrawals. “The absence of caffeine results in a reduction of serotonin, which causes irritability, feelings of anxiousness and an inability to concentrate,” according to The Journal of Young Investigator.

Physical effects of caffeine

  • Increases Heart Rate - Did you know caffeine can stay in your system for 3-7 hours? Caffeine may be brewing trouble with your nervous system due to it’s ability to increase your heart rate. “Caffeine can trigger and worsen anxiety and panic disorders” according to Roland Griffiths, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Roland also notes how excessive use of caffeine can cause jitters, headaches, nervousness and irregular heartbeat.

  • Increases blood sugar levels - According to Duke University researcher James D. Lane, PhD, research shows that “caffeine increases blood sugar levels making it difficult for those with diabetes to control their glucose.”

Natural Herb for A Healthy Alternative

Looking for a morning boost without the adrenal crash? Pump up your edge with the herb Eclipta Alba. Research studies have linked this powerful herb to help with improving concentration and sharpen awareness. Nambu Botanicals’ Enlightenment Formula uses the herb Eclipta Alba which works to calm the mind from excessive activity while enhancing concentration. To learn more about this healthy herbal alternative visit NambuHerbs.com and follow us on social media @NambuHerbs to stay updated on how you can achieve optimal health naturally.  

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Resources:

  1. Somogyi Ph.D, Laszlo. “Caffeine Intake By the U.S. Population.” FDA.Gov. 2015. Web 22 January 2015.
  2. Anderson, Helen. “The Effects of Caffeine On Adenosine.” Livestrong.com. 2015. Web 22 January 2015.
  3. Bradberry, Travis. “The Silent Killer of Success.” Forbes.com. 2012. Web 22 January 2015.
  4. Hyman, MD, Marc. “10 Reasons To Quit Your Coffee!” HuffingtonPost.com. 2012 Web 22 January 2015
  5. Kuntz, Marie. “Caffeine & Anxiety.” Livestrong.com. 2013 Web 22 January 2015.
  6. DeNoon, Daniel. “Caffeine Risks May Battle Diabetic People.” 2008 Web 22 January 2015.
  7. Sharma, Naveen. “How Turmeric Benefits Female Reproductive System.” TurmericForHealth.com. 2015. Web. 21 October 2015.