What is caffeine and how does it work?

What is caffeine and how does it work? 

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can be found in coffee, cacao, and tea among others.

After consuming a dose of caffeine it is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract within a short period of time. It makes its way to the liver where the caffeine is broken down into compounds, which then helps to stimulate our other organs. 

However, its main function takes place in the brain. It works by blocking the function of a neurotransmitter called Adenosine which basically signals your brain that it needs to relax. This neurotransmitter stimulates our sleep so that our body can preserve its energy. 

What caffeine does is that it blocks the effects of adenosine. This results in low chances of you being tired and weary. On top of that, caffeine can increase blood adrenaline levels that enhance brain activity keeping you alert and awake. The union of these two activities helps you stay focused and awakened.


What food contains caffeine?


Caffeine is a natural substance found in nuts, seeds, and leaves of different plant types.  


Hot chocolate - 0.6 mg caffeine per fluid ounce 

Black tea - 26 mg caffeine per eight fluid ounces

Green tea - 28 mg caffeine per eight fluid ounces

Espresso - 63.6 mg caffeine per fluid ounce

Filtered coffee - 145 mg caffeine per regular cup (240ml)

Dark chocolate - 336 mg caffeine per ounce


Source: My Food Data


The caffeine content in beverages and food items can vary and it’s best to be aware of them, especially if you are very sensitive to caffeine. 


Health benefits of caffeine

  • It helps to suppress your appetite temporarily. So, if you want to control your food intake, it might help. 
  • Caffeine improves alertness and attentiveness.
  • Caffeine can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and lower your potential risk of developing it in the future. 

(Parkinson’s disease is a disorder our brain can develop that affects our balance, coordination, walking, stiffness, and shaking. At first, it wouldn’t cause much harm to us, but gradually it develops and worsens our condition as we are unable to talk and walk properly)

  • As it improves your brain function, it boosts your memory and thinking ability it helps ward off any potential risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Caffeine can detoxify your liver and reduce the fat content that accumulates in your liver which causes a condition called fatty liver


Source: Medical News Today 

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