CAFFEINE AND THE BODY
by Cody Boehm
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CAFFEINE ENTERS THE BODY?
Caffeine is a pretty complicated stimulant but we will give you an overview of what happens as it enters the body.
As caffeine is ingested, this polar bond will break out into three different methyl groups. The liver is a very important organ when it comes to the chemical reaction of caffeine because it is there where it is broken down and dispersed to the brain. The three groups are: theobromine, paraxanthine, and theophylline (refer to definitions).
When the stimulant enters the brain, the caffeine blocks the adenosine and masks the feeling of fatigue. Since the adenosine is not functioning as it is intended, that has a chain effect on the chemical dopamine, a compound neurotransmitter.
Once the theobromine, paraxanthine, theophylline and caffeine are hit with the caffeine, they all react differently:
Caffeine: Jacks up your brain activity
Theobromine: Pumps up the brain oxygen and nutrients
Paraxanthine: Increases the rate of fat breakdown and therefore increases athleticism and coordination
Theophylline: Helps you focus and increases the heart rate.
After caffeine is consumed, it can take up to an hour to take effect and can last in the body for up to 14 hours depending on body mass and fitness. Too much caffeine can cause the jitters or anxiety and, over time, can become an addiction.
In summary, caffeine is a pretty amazing thing. It wakes people up, it keeps them up, it helps them focus, it helps them exercise. Of course, as we discussed, there are bad things, but overall the benefits highly outweigh the cons.