Everyone is curious to know the side effects of caffeine on the body. They have been asking; what are caffeine pills? what are the medical uses of caffeine? How does caffeine work in the body? what are the effects of caffeine on the brain? Is caffeine present in bitter kola? How much caffeine is in coffee? and so on. Find answers to these questions as you read on.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a chemical (an alkaloid) present in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans in a wide variety of plants. In many foods and drinks, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks, it is present both naturally and as an ingredient. Caffeine, on its own, has no flavor and has no nutritional value.
Most commonly, caffeine is used to enhance mental alertness, but it has many other applications. Caffeine is used by mouth or rectally for the treatment of migraine, headaches in combination with painkillers (such as aspirin and acetaminophen) and a chemical called ergotamine. This is also used for basic headaches with painkillers and after epidural anesthesia prevention and treatment of headaches.
Caffeine is currently the most widely used drug in the world. It’s found in many foods and beverages, making it easy to forget it’s a substance. It is even an ingredient in children’s drinks and snacks. Although caffeine has some health benefits, the effects on the body and brain are significantly negative.
Caffeine is legal and one of the most commonly consumed medicines in the world, unlike many other psychoactive drugs.
How Does Caffeine Work In The Body?
Since caffeine acts as a central nervous stimulant, it is usually taken by people to feel more alert and energetic. Caffeine can make people feel more productive and enhance mood. It is believed that by blocking the receptors of the neurotransmitter adenosine, the excitability of the brain increases.
Adenosine when formed, binds to adenosine receptors in the brain. This binding causes somnolence (drowsiness) by slowing down the activity of nerve cells. This also causes blood vessels to dilate in the brain, most likely allowing more oxygen to rest in that body.
Caffeine acts like adenosine to a nerve cell: caffeine binds to the receptor of adenosine. Caffeine, however, does not slow down the activity of the cell as would adenosine. As a result, adenosine can no longer be detected by the cell as caffeine takes up all the receptors to which adenosine would usually bind. Instead of slowing down due to the effect of adenosine, the nerve cells are speeding. Caffeine also allows the blood vessels of the brain to be constricted by blocking the capacity of adenosine to open them up. This result is why some medications with headaches such as Anacin contain caffeine— constricting blood vessels in the brain may help to stop a vascular headache.
The effect of caffeine on the brain causes neuron activity to increase. The pituitary gland detects this activity and thinks there must be some kind of emergency, so it releases hormones that tell adrenaline (epinephrine) to be released by the adrenal glands. Adrenaline is the hormone of “fight or flight,” and it has a number of effects that I will tell you later on.
What Are The Effects Of Caffeine In The Body?
Caffeine has different effects on CNS, cardiovascular, and metabolism based on the amount ingested. Average doses of caffeine (85-250 mg, the equivalent of 1-3 cups of coffee) can give rise to sensations of alertness, decreased fatigue, and ease of thought flow. Restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, and tremors can result in high doses (250-500 mg). Caffeine can cause a hyperadrenergic syndrome in high doses that leads to seizures and cardiac dysfunction.
Since caffeine overdoses are relatively common in the United States, intentional or unintentional, physicians and other medical staff need to be conscious of caffeine toxicity in order to properly identify and manage it.
What Are The Medical Uses/Effects Of Caffeine?
In many weight loss pills, caffeine can be found to boost metabolism. But there are a variety of other cases in which caffeine can have significant medical uses.
Citrated caffeine— treated with potassium or sodium citrate— can aid in premature babies to breathe. Young children who suffer after surgery from breathing problems may also benefit from caffeine medical treatment.
Occasionally caffeine is used for kick-starting other drugs for adults. It improves aspirin or acetaminophen’s efficacy and is used to treat cluster and migraine headaches with a drug called ergotamine. Research suggests that the ability of caffeine to cause blood vessels to restrict blood flow, as discussed in the next section, may play a role in causing these effects.
Read Also: Panic Attacks: Ways To Handle And Prevent It
Harvard University performed one of the most comprehensive and systematic studies involving 126,000 individuals over an 18-year period. The Harvard study findings may seem surprising: they indicate that people who drink one to three cups of coffee a day are up to 9 percent less likely than those who don’t. Men cut their chances of contracting diabetes by 54 percent of subjects who drank six or more cups of coffee per day, and women by 30 percent.
What Are The Side Effects Of Caffeine?
Caffeine may improve alertness, but it may also cause some unpleasant side effects, including:
- Flushed Face
- Excessive urination
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- Muscle twitching
- Rambling speech
- Tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia
- Periods of inexhaustibility
- Difficulty relaxing
Other Side Effects Of Caffeine Are:
- Mood Changes: Although people often use caffeine to improve mood, anxiety can be caused by excessive consumption of caffeine.
- Increased Heart Rate: Although people frequently use caffeine to improve mood, excessive consumption of caffeine Caffeine accelerates the heart rate, with significant effects occurring after drinking 360 mg, the equivalent of about three and a half cups of brewed coffee. Caffeine can cause more significant effects on the heart in higher doses by changing your heartbeat’s speed and regularity. This is referred to as tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia and can be dangerous.
- Increased Blood Pressure: Consumption of caffeine can increase blood pressure. This effect of caffeine, known as the “pressor effect,” is apparent across age and sex classes, and is especially pronounced in people with high blood pressure. If you are uncertain that this applies to you, ask your doctor about your blood pressure and get advice on how to control the consumption of caffeine accordingly.
Read Also: Insomnia: 3 Ways To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
When large quantities of caffeine are consumed, the side effects may vary from unpleasant to severe, sometimes leading to an overdose of caffeine. If taken with other drugs, including alcohol, caffeine may also face hazards. Since the calming effects of caffeine mask the harmful effects of alcohol, the use of caffeine can lead to excessive alcohol usage.
How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee?
Coffee is the most common source of caffeine and a popular beverage. Coffee’s caffeine content can vary considerably depending on several factors, including volume, method of brewing, and brand.
More than 95 percent of adults in the United States eat foods and drinks containing caffeine, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In the U.S, adult’s intake is between 110 and 260 mg of caffeine per day on average. A standard8-ounce (oz) cup of coffee is estimated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to contain about 80–100 mg of caffeine.
You will get a good idea of caffeine in coffee in the figures below, so you can prepare your diet right.
- Brewed Coffee (8 oz / 237 mL): 95-200 mg of caffeine
- Decaffeinated Brewed (8 oz / 237 mL): 2-12 mg of caffeine
- Espresso (1 oz / 30 mL): 47-75 mg of caffeine
- Decaffeinated Espresso (1 oz / 30 mL): 0-15 mg of caffeine
- Instant (8 oz / 237 mL):27-173 mg of caffeine
- Decaffeinated Instant (8 oz / 237 mL): 27-173 mg of caffeine
- Latte (8 oz / 237 mL):63-175 mg of caffeine
What are Caffeine Pills?
Caffeine tablets are caffeine supplements. In the middle of the brewing process, you can find caffeine pills made with organic caffeine. Caffeine tablets containing organic and synthetic caffeine are also available, so read the label very well.
It’s really easy to find out how much caffeine is in the caffeine pill as the manufacturer lists it on the tag. Many tablets of caffeine come in 200 mg of caffeine per dose. However, when it comes to coffee, caffeine may vary depending on the size of the serving and the type of coffee you drink. Usually, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about 85 mg of coffee, but the range is between 65 mg and 120 mg.
Does Bitter Kola contain Caffeine?
Bitter kola contains a little caffeine, according to scientists. Generally speaking, it should not be harmful to the body of man because its rate is very small. There are, however, situations where even a small amount of caffeine can have unpleasant consequences. In reality, eating bitter kola has more benefits than its drawbacks. Scientists say people who eat this plant can treat cold, lung diseases, malaria, food poisoning, and so on.