Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Millions of people worldwide get their caffeine from coffee. Besides fueling us with energy for the day, here are some other benefits that come with drinking coffee and caffeine.
Caffeine Helps Relieve Headaches & Migraines
Caffeine is known to narrow blood vessels and restrict blood flow. Before getting a headache or a migraine, people’s blood vessels tend to enlarge, which is why caffeine’s constrictive qualities help relieve head pain. However, when you stop drinking coffee, the blood vessels re-enlarge, which can cause headaches, too.
Improves Cognitive Performance & Manages Drowsiness
Since caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, the most noticeable effect is increased alertness. When it reaches the brain, caffeine binds to adenosine receptors, effectively serving as an adenosine- receptor antagonist. When adenosine binds to it’s receptors, it causes sleepiness and slows down neural activity. That’s why it’s important to drink coffee before you get drowsy (i.e. when adenosine binds to it’s receptors), otherwise the caffeine would have nothing to bind to and thus be ineffective.
Research shows that people who drink coffee regularly have decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as some cancers. Caffeine can also mildly help people with ADHD, as it mimics some of the effects of the stronger stimulants, such as amphetamine medications, that are used to treat ADHD.
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