FoodScience

All about Caffeine: what is it? How does it react inside the body? How much do you require daily?

What are the sources?

Everyday, billions of people depend on caffeinated drinks to wake up or get energy.

From working in morning shifts to eliminating afternoon laziness, a cup of coffee or tea is a must-have for many. Coffee, one variety of caffeinated drinks, is consumed by 1-2 billion people globally everyday. The number is understandably high. Consumption of coffee at a moderate concentration daily has a stimulatory effect on your nervous system. This article is intended to let you know every single detail about Caffeine, a miraculous compound.

What is caffeine?

It is a natural stimulant found in tea and coffee mostly. Cacao plants in the African continent are the source of this compound. According to some historians, caffeinated drinks have been consumed since 2737 B.C. Much later, an Ethiopian shepherd observed that the consumption of this plant is providing noticeable high energy to the goats. During the later half of the 19th century, Caffeinated soft drinks were introduced to the commercial market. Eventually, it became famous as an energy drink over the years.

How does Caffeine work inside the body?

Broadly, Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system to prevent tiredness and make you stay alert. After consumption, caffeine is promptly absorbed into the blood and travels to your liver. The breakdown of the caffeine compound is done here. Caffeine functions as an antagonist to adenosine receptors due to the similarity in structure. Generally, adenosine level increases throughout the daytime making you feel tired, which eventually makes you sleepy at the night. By blocking the adenosine function, alertness is promoted. This leads to disruption of sleep schedule and prevention of tiredness. Some reports have also mentioned that caffeine enhances the adrenaline level in your body which makes you more active.

Foods or drinks and level of caffeine:

Caffeine is found in the nuts, seeds, or even leaves of several plants. Some natural sources of caffeine are tea leaves, kola nuts, cocoa beans, coffee beans, guarana berries, yerba maté, Guayusa, yaupon holly, and so on. Following are the amount of caffeine found in 240 ml of famous drinks. Espresso with the highest value of 250-700 mg, followed by coffee (100–200 mg), Yerba mate (60–140 mg), and Brewed tea (50–120 mg). Soft drinks, Decaffeinated coffee, and Chocolate milk contain very less amount of caffeine.

Side effects of consumption of excess caffeine:

Scientifically, the adult human body requires 300-400 mg of caffeine daily. If you consume much more than 400 mg regularly, it will show a negative impact on your body. The most common side effects are improper sleep schedule, insomnia, restlessness, headache, elevated heart rate, anxiety, dehydration, and so on. Unfortunately, many people become addicted to coffee or tea which is a major reason behind insomnia and depression.

Any stimulant of the nervous system must be consumed at a moderate level, otherwise, it will start showing consequences that are bad for your health.

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