Ever wonder why you feel sleepy? Well, the chemical responsible for that feeling is called adenosine. While you go through your day, your brain is constantly creating it to help promote sleep activity. Caffeine as a chemical actually prevents adenosine receptors from absorbing the adenosine you produce. However, this doesn’t stop you from producing adenosine, which explains the crash many of us get after the effects of caffeine start fading.
Is coffee healthy for you?
Well, that mostly depends on you. As of right now, research shows that, for the most part, coffee is healthy for you. However, as with everything pertaining to diet, this is on a case-by-case basis. Coffee itself is chock-full of polyphenols – a.k.a antioxidants – which can help prevent and repair oxidative stress you receive by living your life. Caffeine is also a polyphenol that has neuroprotective qualities. The trouble that most people have with coffee is with the caffeine content itself. Everybody has different levels of caffeine tolerance, meaning that a healthy dosage of coffee or caffeine is different for everyone. A few clear signs that you have consumed too much caffeine are things like heart palpitations, jitteriness, anxiety, etc.
What role has caffeine/coffee played in work culture?
You could argue that during the industrial revolution, coffee was almost as valuable a resource as coal or oil. It was the fuel to get the common worker through their day without keeling over in the middle of their shift. It wasn’t always like this though. The bean itself has seen a lot of use throughout human history as a form of medicine. In the 1400’s the method of brewing coffee was finally discovered. Literally revolutionizing the world, for better or worse playing a key part in both the American and French revolutions, as well as the Industrial revolution
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“The Invisible Addiction: Is It Time To Give Up Caffeine?” Michael Pollan, The Guardian, 2021
“Is coffee good for your memory? A Harvard brain expert shares how she gets the most out of its health benefits.” CNBC, 2022
“Childhood Caffeine Exposure May Negatively Affect Cognitive Functioning,” National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2021 https://archives.nida.nih.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2021/04/childhood-caffeine-exposure-may-negatively-affect-cognitive-functioning