When a person takes caffeine the pituitary gland responds to the increased brain cell activity by releasing hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline
- Stay Awake - Adenosine is a chemical secreted by the brain which builds up throughout the day. It binds to specific adenosine receptors causing the brain to slow down, leaving us feeling drowsy. Caffeine is very similar in its chemical structure to adenosine in that it will bind to the same receptors and block adenosine. Unlike adenosine, caffeine does not slow the brain down, it has the opposite effect, causing nerve activity to speed up. This leaves us feeling wakeful.
- Primed and Ready - When a person takes caffeine the pituitary gland responds to the increased brain cell activity by releasing hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone, so consuming caffeine primes the body for action.
- Extra Energy – After consuming caffeine the liver releases sugar into the blood stream to provide extra energy.
- Pleasure – Caffeine is a stimulant which raises levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for creating feelings of pleasure and reward.
- Sleep Quality – It is best to take caffeine in the morning so it will not negatively impact your sleep. Even though you may be able to fall asleep after an evening coffee, having caffeine in your blood may prevent you from entering deep sleep. This will result in you feeling tired the next morning.
Author: James Hudson