Caffeine is a big part of our everyday lives. Forget tea and coffee, many everyday products that we use on normal basis has caffeine in it such as dark chocolate, fizzy drinks even some ice creams. Studies show that a good 250 milligrams of coffee everyday day is sufficient enough to jolt the brain awake and allow us to live our monotonous, zombie-like lives a bit more actively. With the increasing pressure on students for exams and jobs, the intake of caffeine in the world today is higher than ever before. Which leads to the question, what is caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant that in structure looks very similar to another chemical found in our bodies, called adenosine. Adenosine regulates brain function and helps us keep ‘awake’. Caffeine due to its similarity with adenosine can stimulate the same pathways, fooling our brains and making us active. Too much caffeine can hyper activate the brain and disrupt the normal functioning of the nerve pathway. Here are 10 surprising facts about our metaphorical ‘knight-in-shinning-armor’.
1.Caffeine has very long half-life
After consuming a steaming hot mug of espresso, be assured that it will remain in your system for hours. This is because caffeine takes a long time to be metabolized in the body, as long as 12 hours. This may be dangerous in people who need a constant caffeine fix as this keeps building up in our digestive system and may cause indigestion.
2.Caffeine reaches it maximum effect after 45 minutes
It takes just 10 minutes for caffeine to reach half its maximum concentration after intake. After 45 minutes you enjoy all the benefits of running on caffeine.
3.Coffee makes for an amazing skin scrub
The caffeine in the coffee stimulates your skin cells and causes all the blood to surge up near the surface. This helps in repair of damaged old cells and induces healing. It is also great for cellulite.
4.Coffee is originated from Ethiopia
It is believed that the coffee plant was first found in Ethiopia, where people recognized its energising effect.
5.Caffeine has a timeline
It is suggested that caffeine should be taken between 9.30 to 11.30 am and again between 3.00 to 5.00 pm. This is because before, between and after these time slots, the body produces a special chemical called cortisol, that naturally keeps you alert. Therefore there is no need for caffeine.
6.The biggest coffee drinkers in the world are scientists
They are followed by a close second education administrators and marketing professionals.
7.The coffee bean comes from a bright red plant
Coffee beans are actually green and need to be handpicked as they don’t mature at the same time. They are then roasted and processed which gives it its characteristic brown color.
8.Caffeine withdrawal is a legitimate condition
Caffeine withdrawal is listed under a mental health condition. It usually manifests after 12 to 24 hours of stopping. It is categorized by throbbing headaches, mood swings, depression, lack of concentration and fatigue.
9.Caffeine has many benefits than just waking you up in the morning
Caffeine contains antioxidants that combat free radicals produced in the body which can cause cell damage, aging and diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It has been found that consuming one cup of coffee everyday reduced the risk of death in men and women considerably. This is however only restricted to people who don’t have risk factors such as obesity and smoking.