Coffee can produce anxiety in excess, but what are the nootropic benefits of taken caffeine?
The good news is that the picture of using caffeine for mental health is not all bad, and not completely one sided.
Caffeine, like chocolate, often receives bad publicity. Whilst in some instances, and in excess, these can have negative effects on our body, they can also be quite beneficial.
For example, excess caffeine can create anxiety, nausea (particularly if taken on an empty stomach), an increase in heart rate, and even depression in some people.
And chocolate is certainly not something that should form the mainstay of one’s diet. If struggling with sugar addiction, or wanting to lose weight, there are more nutritionally complete foods that are available.
But scientists have turned up some interesting facts on the use of caffeine.
For example, caffeine actually blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter in the brain (adenosine) that otherwise makes us feel tired.
This is why it works so well to keep us awake.
It also encourages the release of another brain chemical, dopamine (as well as adrenaline). Dopamine contributes to a feeling of well being.
Two studies, one a population based study (which are not as specific or rigorously defined as other types of studies, but nonetheless valuable indicators) found that drinking caffeine containing drinks like coffee and tea had a protective effect for those at risk of developing liver disease.
Issues that the study participants had that increased their risk of liver disease included alcoholism, hepatitis B or C, obesity, or other complications.
And the results indicated that people who drank more than 2 cups of coffee a day had a 44% lower chance of showing actual liver damage compared to those who drank no caffeine.
This was not a clinical trial, and the reason why coffee and tea had such an effect is not known.
Coffee and tea contain a range of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that could be responsible for this.
A 2005 Norwegian study also found similar benefits for coffee with regards liver disease.
This study found that drinking 3 cups of coffee a day could lower the risk of death from liver cirrhosis.
Even if you’re not at risk of liver disease, caffeine still has some advantages.
Recent research from Austria showed that caffeine may actually enhance short term memory.
Researchers found that there was an increase in brain activity (as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging) in the parts of the brain that were associated with memory and attention.
These parts of the brain were the frontal lobe and the anterior cingulum. This was a placebo controlled study, meaning that some people were not given any caffeine.
Another, earlier study (2004) found that caffeine did support short term memory, but only when it was in relation to a topic that people were already thinking about.
This study found that when testing coffee’s effects on unrelated subjects, short term recall was actually inhibited.
Everything does have a flip side though. Adenosine, which is blocked by coffee, is also calming. This could be why it can also cause anxiety in excess, and in some individuals.
After all, the balance of our brain chemistry is unique. And when we are addicted to stimulants like caffeine, we lose the sensitivity to our own natural stimulants (dopamine and adrenaline).
How Much Caffeine Is In Your Cup of Coffee?
Caffeine was discovered in coffee in 1820. Coffee is a complex mixture of chemical components of the coffee bean.
Some of these components are partially destroyed by the roasting process; however, many of these components are not.
Caffeine is one of the components that is not affected by the roasting process. With the addition of hot water, the caffeine is extracted from the coffee bean.
Caffeine is an alkaloid that acts as a mild stimulant. It increases the blood pressure, stimulates the central nervous system and the action of the heart and lungs, and promotes urine formation. It also acts as a diuretic and delays fatigue.
Caffeine does have some positive side effects. It has been found to help treat migraines since it helps constrict the dilated blood vessels, therefore reducing the pain. It also has been documented to increase the potency of aspirin and to slightly relieve the affects of asthma attacks.
It has been suggested that caffeine has been linked to possible cancers and birth defects.
However, this has not been confirmed and there are no bans or warnings that have been issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
The amount of caffeine found in the coffee beans varies.
On average, a regular cup of coffee contains approximately 90 to 150 mg of caffeine.
Coffee brewed in a drip coffee maker has about 115 to 175 mg of caffeine while other coffee makers may brew coffee with about 80 to 135 mg.
Typically, espresso has about as much caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.
On average, a standard espresso cup would have about 100 mg of caffeine.
However, the serving size for espresso is much smaller.
The actual content of caffeine per milliliter in an espresso is much higher than in a regular brew.
Also, caffeine is assimilated quicker when ingested in a concentrated dosage such as an espresso cup.
The amount of caffeine found in coffee blends will also vary.
The following are examples of the caffeine content for different coffee blends:
- -Brazilian Bourbons: contains 1.20% caffeine
- -Columbia Excelso: contains 1.34% caffeine
- -Columbia Supremo: contains 1.34% caffeine
- -French Roast: contains 1.22% caffeine
- -Costa Rican Tarrazu: contains 1.35% caffeine
- -Vienna Roast: contains 1.27% caffeine
- -Decafs: contains 0.02% caffeine
People hypersensitive to the caffeine found in coffee may decide to drink decaffeinated coffee.
This way, they can still enjoy the great coffee taste, yet avoid the caffeine.
Coffee can be “decaffeinated” by treating the green beans with solvents called chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Once the solvents are removed, the beans are then roasted by ordinary procedures.
Most people become accustomed to decaffeinated coffee and do not have to worry about the effects of caffeine.
In this video you’ll discover the nootropic benefits of Caffeine.
Including why we use Caffeine as a nootropic, recommended dosage, side effects and clinical research.
Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. As a nootropic, caffeine helps improve reaction time, alertness, memory and mood.
Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist which influences acetylcholine, epinephrine (adrenaline), serotonin and boosts the use of dopamine. Providing the stimulant effect experienced when consuming caffeine.
Caffeine provides a protective effect by boosting gene expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Studies show chronic caffeine consumption may protect against developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Caffeine improves mood within an hour of consumption. Because it increases the density of GABA receptors, potentiates dopamine, and causes some serotonin receptors to be more responsive.
The most common source of caffeine is the coffee bean from which coffee is extracted. Other natural sources include leaves of the tea plant, cocoa beans, kola nuts, holly leaves, yerba mate leaves, seeds from guarana berries, and guayusa leaves.
How you feel on caffeine varies from person to person. But for most it depends on how much you consume. Caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine. Which accounts for the pleasant feeling you associate with your first morning coffee.
Most neurohackers find consuming caffeine makes you more productive. You should find it easier to concentrate and get things done. Using a caffeinated beverage after a study session should help you recall what you studied more easily.
Courtesy of NootropicsExpert
It is important to use caution when using any caffeine based supplement
A number of energy drinks on the market today contain as much as 350 milligrams of caffeine.
Even juice-based energy drinks can register as high as 160 milligrams each, which is higher than most cups of coffee (80-150 milligrams).
A lot of people gravitate towards these drinks because they provide quick energy boots and some are even enhanced with vitamins and minerals or are sugar and fat-free.
Interestingly, many over-the-counter pain medicines contain as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.
If you are taking these to combat post-workout soreness or treat other regular aches and pains you may be adding another layer to your caffeine intake.
Herein is the problem, if you consume several cups of coffee and soft drinks or several energy drinks during your day, are taking a pain medication and then use a pre-workout supplement you may be headed for caffeine overload.
This overload can have some mild to more serious side effects.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, symptoms can include tremors, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, rapid heart beat and chest pains to name a few.
Further, the American Psychological Association has recently added caffeine intoxication to its manual of disorders and lists restlessness, anxiety and psychomotor agitation as possible side effects at around 1,000 milligrams per day.
This is based on an average tolerance to caffeine and many people can have strong side effects with much less caffeine.
According to the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some people can experience caffeine intoxication symptoms — including restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, and gastrointestinal complaints — after ingesting as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine per day.
Monitoring your caffeine input is essential
To ensuring that you are not setting yourself up for significant discomfort because you are experiencing these symptoms.
It is important to read the label of your supplements to determine if the use of additional caffeinated products is discouraged.
As always, you should consult your doctor before using any nutritional or nootropic supplement.