Coffee is a beverage that very few people need an introduction to. From the far east to deep jungles of Central Africa, just about everyone in the world drinks coffee, or at least has heard of it. It’s been consumed for hundreds of years and has become something of a staple for much of the world.
Most people are also quite aware that coffee is great for waking up, or for staying up on a late night.
There’s a lot of chemistry and science behind that gives coffee its unique effects, with almost all of it taking place within the brain. Here we will look at the effects of coffee and how it can alter the chemistry within the brain.
To understand how coffee affects the brain, it’s first important to know the underlying chemistry that’s at play. Adenosine is one of the most important organic compounds in the brain, and is required to regulate how we sleep, as well as our mood.
There are receptors within the brains that are able to bind with specific molecules in order to trigger a certain neurological response. Adenosine can bind with a few different receptors in the brain, with two of the most well-known being the A2A and A1 receptors.
As an adenosine molecule binds with an A1 receptor, it creates the feeling of sleepiness and relaxation. Over the course of the day, adenosine builds up consistently while also continuously binding with the A1 receptor. By the time that the day comes to an end, most of us will be feeling sleep and ready to hop into bed.
The other receptor, A2A, is much more closely tied with our mood, and can regulate the amount of dopamine that the brain receives, which is a neurotransmitter.
Where Caffeine Comes In
Caffeine just so happens to have almost the same chemical composition to adenosine, meaning that it’s able to bind to the same receptor sites. When a caffeine molecule binds to that specific receptor, it simultaneously blocks the binding of the adenosine.
This means that when a person consumes coffee, the adenosine molecule is no longer able to bind with receptor sites, and it reduces the feeling of tiredness that we feel, and gives us a prolonged sensation of energy that’s long been associated with the drinking of caffeine, great for longer periods of work or concentrating on online betting NZ offerings.
The Later Effects
The amount of caffeine that’s consumed can make a big difference in how tired a person feels.
The caffeine within the body starts to decline a few hours after drinking a cup of coffee, and once it has dissipated, it allows the adenosine to once again start binding to the now empty receptor sites, which is why we start to feel tired again. This is similar in how the blocking of A2A sites promotes the release of dopamine and creates a sensation of happiness.
The overconsumption of coffee is what leads to the feeling of being “wired”, as without adenosine binding the right receptors, we’re not able to feel relaxed, so drinking moderate amounts is often recommended.