Caffeine: A drug With Two Sides

Caffeine is a readily available drug because it is a component of food. Most people consume caffeine in varying amounts, with good sources being coffee, cacao and tea. The presence of caffeine in cacao means that it is present in cola and chocolate. Caffeine is a drug and therefore has drug-like effects in humans and animals. These include the ability to act on adenosine receptors to reduce tiredness through a process of inhibiting the normal downstream effects of the receptor. Caffeine can also speed the metabolism through direct and indirect mechanisms which may explain the weight loss effects from consuming caffeine. Caffeine is also able to stimulate the brain, and can improve cognitions and reduce the risk of mental degenerative disorders such as dementia. Certain sensitive individuals may not be able to tolerate caffeine in high doses, and for these individuals caffeine can lead to anxiety and insomnia. High intakes of caffeine can also lead to a diuretic effect which can be mistaken for genuine weight loss. 

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About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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