– New York, NY
A cup of coffee in the morning is common. Although some simply enjoy the drink’s taste, many depend on the energy boost. Caffeine, the world’s most popular stimulant found in coffee, blocks adenosine receptors. Receptors such as the A1 receptor which promotes sleepiness and A2A which decreases dopamine levels are both usually blocked, which leads to increased alertness and happiness.
While large amounts can be harmful, there are many benefits to caffeine. Not only does caffeine block adenosine receptors, but it also can help people to perform better than normal and increase working memory. People who rarely drink caffeine can improve their power temporarily during exercise, and even utilize caffeine to recover afterward.
It is still important to keep the negative effects in mind, as caffeine’s enhancing properties do not come without a catch. Caffeine can increase blood pressure, acid reflux, and occasionally eye pressure. It can also lead to headaches, migraines, insomnia, and anxiety.
Having coffee on a daily basis can also lead to caffeine tolerance. One cup every day dulls the effects of caffeine, which often stops coffee drinkers from having the same boost of dopamine and energy. Eventually, even increasing the amount of caffeine has no effect. At that point, it is necessary to allow tolerance to decrease by reducing the amount or stopping for some time.
Although there are negatives, many find their daily cup of coffee as a source for enjoyment in their lives and a moment to relax. It is important to drink coffee in moderation, but sometimes it is the perfect pick-me-up or a much-needed boost to finish a long day.
Being mindful of coffee’s effects on the body and mind is important, but don't forget to enjoy your drink!