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While some may genuinely enjoy the taste of coffee, the number one reason people consume caffeine through their daily cup of coffee is to keep them awake and alert to prevent drowsiness. People usually tend to take the fact that caffeine keeps you awake at face value without actually understanding how it does so. So let me be the one to explain it to you.

An organic compound that goes by the name of adenosine is produced by your body throughout the day. It’s job is to monitor the levels of other chemicals and ensure they are balanced. Adenosine does this by reacting with various other organic compounds called receptors to block their excessive release. Since adenosine does this throughout the day, the amount of adenosine produced by the body keeps increasing. By the time night comes around, the large amounts of adenosine makes you drowsy. While this is only one factor of what makes us sleep, it’s vital enough that when caffeine acts on it, our sleep is delayed.

When you consume coffee or any other beverage containing caffeine, the caffeine mimics the shape of adenosine and pretends to be it. Thus, adenosine’s receptors bind with caffeine instead, and adenosine is no longer able to do its job. So chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline that adenosine was blocking, are now being released more and more. These chemicals make us more alert.

So in summation, not only does it prevent drowsiness, it also increases alertness and functioning.

This is why caffeine is used by people during periods of sleep deprivation. From a business man’s morning cup of joe, to a college student’s midnight Red Bull the night before an exam, caffeine allows humans to push back the hands of their biological clock by blocking it’s natural functions.

The high-speed pace of modern day lifestyle requires such drastic actions.

But if the main reason people drink coffee is to stay awake and alert for the rest of the day to perform tasks, why do people still drink coffee on weekends and days when they don’t have much work?

Because people tend to form a dependency on caffeine.

Most psychoactives work by causing certain effects when they are consumed by a person. As a person continues to use it, the same initial amount of the drug no longer produces the same effects as the body has gotten used to it. In order for a person to feel those same effects again, they need to consume a larger quantity of the drug. Each time a user continues to increase the amount of a drug they consume, their body gets used to it.

The process for caffeine is much milder. Caffeine does not have nearly as many bad side effects as other drugs. Furthermore, it takes much longer for the body to get used to caffeine.

When an addict is forced to sober up,
Yes their body goes through a state of withdrawal. As their body has gotten used to the drug and it’s sudden absence causes various ill effects to the body such as fever, chills, etc.

People with a caffeine dependency also experience symptoms of ‘withdrawal’ after suddenly stopping their consumption of caffeine. However, the only withdrawal symptoms that users experience are fatigue and headaches.

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

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