Your body on Caffeine
So many reasons we love this delicious nectar and enjoy how it makes us feel. However, it is important to understand how caffeine and coffee effect our neurotransmitters. Why? Well it has some big effects on your body and your brain!
Caffeine plays an important role by influencing our neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine. Dopamine is responsible for our level of concentration. Caffeine also blocks our receptors in our fore brain. When this happens it stops our brains from wanting to go to bed. That is with the exception of abusing coffee.. in which it no longer works in this manner.. we can go to sleep.. but we never actually hit deep restful sleep.. I digress.
Another positive is the release of catecholamines. An example of this would be adrenaline, from our sympathetic nervous system. This also serves our fitness community, as it sends more blood to your muscles and gets our liver to release sugar into the bloodstream for energy.
Coffee’s potential benefits
On one hand, regular coffee consumption (1 to 3 cups per day) is consistently associated with a lower risk of:
- many Cancers
- overall mortality
- widely recognized performance and brain boosters
- weight loss benefits
But what about the other side effects of drinking caffeine?
Coffee’s potential harm
Unfortunately, many of the potential benefits seem to disappear if we drink too much coffee - for most of us that is 4 or more cups a day.
And coffee consumption is also associated with:
- higher risk of miscarriage
- disrupted sleep
- worsened PMS symptoms
- increased blood pressure, even in people without hypertension
Does it have any benefits to boosting my metabolism??
What is this?
We all know none of us respond to food, exercise or drinks like coffee the same way.
About 1/2 our population are “slow” caffeine metabolizers. If you’re a slowpoke and you consume a lot of caffeine, your risks of developing heart disease go up.
The rest of us are “fast” caffeine metabolizers. For those of us in this camp, we have the desired genes here! Our love for coffee actually lowers our risk for heart disease risk. This does not mean we can consume over 3 cups a day!
So after considering both sides of drinking caffeine, you can decide if the positives outweigh the potential negatives.