How Does Caffeine Work?

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Before I came to college I was not a coffee person at all. I still wouldn't call myself one, but I have had to pull a few late nights and have used Iced Coffee to keep myself up. The other night I had two of these and started to get tired after a few hours of work so I went to call it a night at 1am. As soon as I laid down in bed I realized I was totally wired and had so much energy. I tossed and turned until 4am. I felt like I wasted 3 perfectly good study hours just laying in bed. The next day I decided to research why coffee and more specifically caffeine seems to give you energy.

I found out that there is a chemical that is released by neurons in the brain called adenosine. The body has regulators that keep track of how much adenosine there is and after there is a lot, say after a long day of work, you will start to feel tired and low on energy. It is the body's way of letting you know there is too much. 


When caffeine enters the brain, it is disguised as adenosine because it is so similar. It then enters the adenosine receptors, but clogs them up so that the body cannot register as much adenosine. When this happens, the neurons fire faster. The body thinks that there is an emergency because of all this activity, so it releases adrenaline. This adrenaline is your energy that you get. Caffeine

After understanding all of this, I now know that it isn't worth it to have two cups of coffee a couple hours before I go to bed, unless I want to be so jacked up that I want to go to the gym at 4 in the morning.

1 Comment

I think that caffein is one of the most interesting drugs that the world has to offer. We widely accept it as just another part of life, but in reality, it is more addictive than marijuana. Isn't it crazy to think that just because coffee doesn't make you feel "differently", it isn't illegal? It has some of the same addictive properties, and the facts show that coffee drinkers are more frequent drinkers than smokers smoke.

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