Coffee is a drink that wakes you up after sleeping and fills you with energy anytime you need it, but the question is, what does its magical ingredient do to our brains?
We are feeling tired because of adenosine, a molecule that is produced in our body’s while we are active through the day. When we are asleep, the concentration of adenosine drops and after a few hours we feel a lot more restful. Coffee is capable of abducting this process because caffeine looks very similar to adenosine to our brain cells. Caffeine can connect to the adenosine receptors in the brain because of its similar shape. When caffeine gets locked in that spot, there is no chance for adenosine to do its usual job. This is the reason why you manage to feel awake after drinking coffee, at least for some time.
After a while, when your brain realizes that adenosine gets constantly blocked from being connective to his receptors, the body naturally starts to create more receptors. It means that a lot more caffeine is needed in our system to prevent tiredness. This process can increase your coffee usage, and you will end up needing more and more caffeine to feel fresh. If you are considering quitting coffee or at least reducing the number of cups you drink daily, you will experience retreat symptoms and probably feel a lot more tired than you were before you started drinking this delicious drink.
Is coffee good for your brain?
Coffee is a very healthy drink. It contains a large number of bioactive compounds. Some are antioxidants. Their job is to repair cells that were damaged by free radicals. There are also caffeine (coffee’s main ingredient which exhilarates the central nervous system), chlorogenic acids (which is good for high blood pressure and blood sugar metabolism), cafestol and kahweol (good for the liver and against cancer) and trigonelline (prevents bacteria growth in dental cavities).
Caffeine causes changes in our system, and it can improve: vigilance, mood, attention, learning and general mental functions.
There are mixed researches on how coffee affects memory. Some studies have found that caffeine increases short-term memory, and others have found that it damages performance on memory tasks. There are no any known and established results on the effects on long-term memory.
Coffee can impair the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. There is currently no cure for these diseases, but studies have found that moderate quantity of coffee a day can lower the risk of getting these diseases for 60%. Similar story goes for Parkinson’s disease. There is also no cure for this disease, but a study shows that drinking three cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of this disease by 30%.
After all these information being said, you are probably asking yourself if you should drink coffee. When consumed in one to three cups a day, coffee can be very healthy and good for your brain. Moderation is key; some people can have side effects and others don’t. Drinking too much coffee isn’t good for anyone.