Most of the people may not think of caffeine as the most popular mood-altering drug in the world. Yet many of us depend on regular doses of 1,3,7 trimethylxanthine, the chemical name for a bitter white powder known as caffeine, to help wake us up, keep us alert and get us through the daily grind.
How caffeine works?
Throughout the day, your brain produces a neurotransmitter called adenosine. When it binds to adenosine receptors in your neurons, nerve activity in the brain slows down, and you start feeling drowsy. To a nerve cell, caffeine looks just like adenosine, which means caffeine can bind to a neuron’s adenosine receptor. When caffeine does this, actual adenosine can no longer bind to the neuron, which means the brain can’t get its “time to get drowsy” message. Because your brain isn’t getting adenosine, instead of slowing down, neural activity starts speeding up. Continue Reading