To understand caffeine, we’ll need to put on our white lab coats and go back to science class.
Caffeine imitates adenosine.
Adenosine is a chemical produced in the thinker. It’s a pre-sleep chemical that slows everything down and gets you ready for bed.
Caffeine is like an adenosine imposter.
Chemically, it looks like adenosine. So the adenosine receptors in the brain are like “HEY YOU! Come here and get this body ready for bed time, won’t ya?”
And caffeine, is like “Who, me?” as it saunters over to the receptors before hoodwinking it and speeding up the body.
In response, the body realizes that it made a mistake in thinking caffeine was adenosine. It releases emergency hormones like adrenaline. Heart rate increases, airways dilate, blood pressure increases, sugar is released into the body as your muscles constrict ready to take on whatever imaginary foe your brain has thought up.
This persists for about 4-6 hours until it wears off.
So, are there any benefits besides becoming alert enough to make it through Monday morning traffic?
The Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine can be extremely beneficial to training.
Focus: Caffeine affects areas of the brain that improve focus and concentration.
Fat Loss: Caffeine is a thermogenic shown to help burn fat and increase body temperature to help burn more calories.
Performance: Caffeine stimulates epinephrine, the body's fight or flight hormone, which can help improve performance and endurance.
Exercise High: Because caffeine can help produce endorphins, it can also help you feel great during and after your workout.
Besides helping you get through your morning workout or evening run, caffeine also offers other benefits.
- Studies show two cups of coffee a day can decrease the risk for cancer of the colon by a whopping 20 percent.
- Caffeine fans are also 75 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and cirrhosis.
- Its helpful in the reducing symptoms of asthma, headaches and menstrual cramps, too.
- And some studies show when combining caffeine with exercise that you could reduce pre-cancerous skin cells.
Now, don’t go and drink a whole carafe of coffee. Three cups a day, or 300mg is considered moderate.
So there you have it, the science behind caffeine and the surprising additional benefits of taking caffeine.
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