Caffeine is in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, some nuts and certain medicines. It has numerous effects on your body’s metabolism, including the “much sought after” stimulation to the central nervous system.
Why the boost? Because caffeine blocks the action of adenosine receptors. And in various brain regions, this class of receptors also interacts with dopamine receptors to counteract the effects of dopamine.
By reducing the activity of adenosine receptors, caffeine increases dopamine activity, resulting in higher dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter that controls:
- feelings of pleasure
That’s why you may find caffeine makes you more alert and gives you a boost of pleasurable energy.
Caffeine is well tolerated in most common doses, although high doses, like energy drinks, may cause:
- increase in heart rate
- increase in blood pressure
It takes about 5 hours to eliminate caffeine’s dopamine effects.