Caffeine: Its Positive and Negative Effects on Your Health

Caffeine is a stimulant used in a variety of foods, beverages, and medicines. While you may be familiar with the caffeine content in many of the products you use, such as coffee and chocolate, caffeine also lurks in pain relief medication and as a treatment for apnea. To understand how caffeine affects you, either positively or negatively, Tampa chemical supplier, Bell Chem, invites you to read below.

  • Caffeine reduces drowsiness; as such it is an active ingredient in medication to keep you awake and alert.
  • Thoughts are faster and clearer when the body ingests caffeine because it is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant: caffeine is soluble in both water and lipids and, as such, diffuses over the blood-brain barrier. Caffeine is structurally similar to adenosine, a chemical that produces a cellular response that acts as a depressant. The similarity in structure causes cells to accept caffeine as a substitute for adenosine in adenosine receptors in the CNS. The change from a depressant to a stimulant increases focus and coordination.
  • Athletes use caffeine to enhance sports performance in sprints, endurance activities, and a number of team sports. By decreasing neuronal activation thresholds, caffeine seemingly reduces an athlete’s perception of effort, thereby stimulating additional muscle recruitment. While thousands of athletes stand behind caffeine’s effects on stamina, scientists report the results are unsubstantial.
  • Premature infants are treated with caffeine for bronchopulmonary dysplasia because it relaxes the muscles within the bronchioles to increase oxygen uptake. Its use also increases weight gain in infants since it is a metabolic stimulant and reduces language and cognitive delays when used over a short period of time.
  • Overconsumption of caffeine may produce caffeine dependency, a condition highlighted by nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and headaches.
  • Caffeine’s metabolic stimulation increases respiration, which rushes more oxygen to hungry cells. While the heart rate is reduced, force of contraction within the heart, along with constriction of blood vessels, increases blood pressure.
  • Caffeine is reported to increase fat utilization by stimulating epinephrine in the bloodstream. The fat oxidized in the blood spares the glycogen stored in cells, which boosts athletic performance and acts as an aid in diabetes maintenance.

In small to average doses, caffeine keeps the body in an increased state of readiness. This state is acceptable at certain times, but an onslaught of caffeine may prove detrimental to the body’s homeostasis. Learn more about caffeine and other chemicals by browsing the rest of the website, or calling the Tampa chemical supplier experts at  (407) 339-BELL (2355).