A large fraction of the general population find it difficult functioning without a cup of coffee. As we all know, coffee contains high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is considered a drug and perceived to cause addiction. Some people have linked caffeine and coffee the same category as other stronger addiction. Today, we are going to evaluate if both coffee and caffeine are addictive.
Does coffee contain caffeine?
Yes, coffee contains sufficient amounts of caffeine. Caffeine can be categorized as a natural stimulant. This is the reason we become more active whenever we take a cup of coffee. It is also found in chocolate, tea and some soft drinks. Coffee is one of the commonly consumed drinks. Some people believe is because of its addictive properties. Caffeine is also linked to other effects. It is capable of boosting your mood, improving your workout performance and improves your overall metabolism.
Above all; caffeine is known to stimulate the brain, making you more alert and concentrate on any given task. The levels of caffeine in coffee vary depending on the type of coffee you are taking and the amount of coffee in your drink. Caffeine takes roughly thirty minutes to one hour to reach the blood and make you more active. The effects of caffeine can last within three to nine hours.
The effects of caffeine on the brain
First, caffeine is absorbed in the gut before reaching the brain. The caffeine immediately stimulates the brain cells once it reaches the brain. Caffeine delivers instant results because of its chemical structure. Its chemical combination is similar to that of adenosine. Adenosine is a molecule found in the central nervous system. It is known to have an instant relaxing effect. Therefore, caffeine in coffee is capable of binding the adenosine receptors. This prevents adenosine from making a person feel exhausted and tired.
It has been practically proven that the blocked adenosine receptors trigger release of some stimulants such as dopamine. This is why you feel less tired and become more alert when you drink coffee. In short caffeine performs the following tasks:
- Caffeine ensures the brain cells don’t signalize you are tired.
- Adenosine receptors help the brain release other stimulants to keep you alert for a long period.
This is the reason you feel alert and can concentrate on what you are doing. A lot of people across the globe frequently consume coffee to reduce fatigue. The concentration of your coffee determines the period you will remain alert.
Why is caffeine addictive?
Caffeine is characterized as an addictive substance. This means you can physically get addicted to it. A person can easily get addicted to caffeine if he/she frequently takes coffee. Frequent consumption of caffeine is linked to significant chemistry changes in the brain. In most instances, the levels of adenosine receptors in the brain will increase. This is an aim to compensate the adenosine receptors that were blocked by caffeine. People with high amounts of adenosine receptors must take high amounts of caffeine. People who frequently drink coffee gain tolerance to caffeine. This is the reason they must take coffee in high amounts to become more alert.
The caffeine supply should be constant in order to bind with the adenosine receptors. Well; this can be problematic if you reduce caffeine intake in coffee. A lot of adenosine receptors will be left free. Therefore, you are likely to feel very exhausted. This is one of the signs you are addicted to caffeine. A lot of people in the society are addicted to caffeine in coffee. Caffeine addiction depends on how frequently a person takes coffee.
What level does caffeine get addictive?
It may take a while before you get addicted to caffeine. There are a couple of factors that determine if you will get addicted to caffeine in coffee or not. Genetics is one of the factors that determine if you are likely to be addicted to caffeine or not. Scientific studies have revealed that some people are less likely to get addicted to caffeine because of their genetics.
Generally, coffee lovers are likely to experience brain composition changes when they frequently take coffee. There is no specific timeframe in which the brain composition changes take because of frequent coffee intake. Frequent headaches, irritability, drowsiness and lack of concentration are some signs of addiction if you stay a long time without taking coffee. These symptoms mostly appear within a day and can be exhibited up to ten days. In most instances, the symptoms are severe on the first few days before gradually reducing.
Is there a difference between stronger addictions and coffee addictions?
Addiction varies in terms of strength. Some people are more addicted than others. There are specific symptoms that are linked to addiction. Here are some of the symptoms:
- Unable to control use of a particular substance.
- Withdrawal symptoms such as headache and feeling tired.
- Continuous use of a substance despite the highlighted harm
Medical experts use the above symptoms to determine if a person is addicted or not. A significant amount of people addicted to caffeine exhibit the above symptoms. Some medical experts have dismissed claims that caffeine addiction cannot be compared to that of other strong substances. Strong substances like nicotine, cocaine and amphetamines exhibit stronger addiction symptoms when compared to caffeine. Secondly, caffeine doesn’t pose a lot of harm when compared to plenty of illegal drugs and substances.
It has on several occasions been proven that people addicted to caffeine can easily control their addiction compared to those on strong substances. It is rare to find someone abusing caffeine. High amount of coffee is linked to jitteriness and trembling. This is the reason people limit their coffee intake. Moving on, the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine are not strict when compared to those in strong substances. In most instances, you don’t need the intervention of a medical expert to deal with withdrawal symptoms in caffeine.
The health benefits of Coffee
A lot of people don’t know coffee and caffeine has some health benefits. Below are some of the health benefits:
- Coffee and caffeine improves the performance of the brain. It has been proven that frequent consumption of coffee can improve the wellness and functionality of the brain. Coffee also reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and alzheimer’s disease.
- Caffeine and coffee are capable of reducing risks of depression and anxiety. This leaves you in a good mood.
- Coffee can help you shed some extra pounds. It does this by increasing the metabolism of the body. Increased metabolism increases the rate in which the body burns fat.
- Caffeine can improve the performance of those who workout. It reduces fatigue.
- Research has revealed that coffee reduces the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Despite the above health benefits linked to caffeine, you should limit your coffee intake each day. Caffeine in coffee is linked to insomnia and anxiety if abused. You also risks migraines and headaches. In some instances, you are likely to develop high blood pressure if you abuse coffee.