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How caffeine stimulates the nervous system


Probably everyone at some point has mentioned the phrase “A coffee, please” , and it is that the cup of coffee in the morning is a common habit in several cultures; But what not everyone knows is that a simple phrase like that can change their day.

Just a simple coffee can cause a person’s mood to fluctuate and interfere with the course of their daily routine. Coffee is largely made up of caffeine; a stimulating substance of the nervous system . Next we will delve into this stimulating substance, its effects and its benefits.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system . When we speak of stimulant we refer to any substance that increases the levels of motor and cognitive activity.

This substance can temporarily make an individual feel more “awake” and energetic, but it can also cause nervousness and addiction .

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 90 percent of the world’s population ingests some form of caffeine.

It is safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day; It must be borne in mind that if you consume more than the appropriate dose, side effects may arise.

Coffee – the beverage with the highest caffeine content – is used daily by a large number of people to “start the day”, but not all people have the same effect.

The effect of coffee on people also depends on the way it is prepared, since it is known that there are several types of coffee and not all of them are prepared in the same way or with the same doses of caffeine. An example: an instant coffee is not the same as a cappuccino, although both can be prepared in the same coffee maker, instant coffee contains more amounts of caffeine than cappuccino, since the latter is diminished by added milk.

If you generally consume a lot of caffeine and want to stop, stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms as this is an addictive substance. It is best to decrease your intake slowly.

We must clarify that excessive consumption or overdose of this substance can be harmful to health and alter the functions of the cognitive system.

Adverse effects of caffeine

Like any substance, excessive consumption of caffeine can cause alterations, both in the physical and emotional health of a person. Among its most frequent adverse effects we can find:

  • Irritability
  • Acidity
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Palpitations
  • Tremors in the limbs
  • Increased urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disorders

Caffeine and the central nervous system

The main effect of caffeine on the brain is alertness. This state can last for several hours and help you feel more awake and less tired.

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The effects of this substance are mainly due to the interaction of caffeine with adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. When adenosine binds to a specific type of receptor, it inhibits the tendency of neurons to fire and this slows down neuronal activity.

Caffeine and adenosine have a similar molecular structure. So when caffeine is present in the brain, it competes with adenosine to bind to the same receptors. Normally, adenosine would cause drowsiness and slow neuronal activity, but since caffeine blocks the receptors that generally work with adenosine, the effect is the opposite, causing neurons to be stimulated and more active than usual.

When consuming caffeine, the pituitary gland responds by releasing hormones. These released hormones cause the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline . Adrenaline causes an alert response and makes the person’s brain and body ready to defend itself in the event of a threat.

In the case of people who suffer from  hypervigilia , the consumption of caffeine is not recommended, since they already present an alteration of consciousness that forces them to remain in a state of alert for a long time.

Caffeine is used in medicine in medicines to treat pain and drowsiness, but it is not a good ally if you suffer from sleep disorders and anxiety, since by taking this substance these problems can worsen.

The stimulating compound of caffeine and headache do not have a very good relationship , since the constant and excessive consumption of caffeine can cause chronic headaches and migraines. However, if you normally consume caffeine, your body develops a tolerance for it.

Benefits of consuming caffeine

According to research, caffeine consumption increases the activity of the frontal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes are the areas of the brain responsible for short-term memory and attention. Therefore, it is estimated that daily caffeine consumption can increase the activity of these brain functions.

Consuming caffeine can be a good ally to stay awake on necessary occasions, for example: during long working hours or when making night trips.

Caffeine provides antioxidants , so it prevents free radicals from damaging our cells causing the loss of collagen, hence aging.

Helps fight and prevent cellulite . Thanks to the fact that it reactivates the circulation, it eliminates the serous liquid found in the muscular tissues and increases the level of the molecules in charge of liquidating the fats of the organism.

It can be used as a digestive , thanks to the fact that it stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and activates the production of bile, therefore, if it is ingested after meals, it facilitates the digestion process.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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