Caffeine Takes Your Body On a 12 Hour Rollercoaster Ride


Most of us have been conditioned to feel that we NEED a little liquid pick-me-up to put the pep back in our step. But what really happens when we take that first sip of coffee, energy drink, or even black tea? A recent article on lays out the details of how caffeine affects our bodies over a 12-hour time period.

According to the article, caffeine begins to affect our bodies immediately. This is due to the fact that its chemical makeup is soluble both in water and fat, making it easily absorbable into the small intestine and stomach. It is then distributed into the cells, showing up later in bodily fluid such as saliva and milk. Yep! That’s right, nursing mamas. It seems like a cruel joke but after staying up all night with a howling baby, you may actually want to pass on that morning brew.

That first blessed tingle of energy comes around 10 minutes later as the chemical attaches itself to the adenosine receptors. These receptors are what signal our brains to slow down when we are tired. Caffeine disrupts this process, allowing such stimulants such as endorphins to flow free.

After half an hour the effects of caffeine reach its pinnacle, even as it begins to slow your ability to absorb dopamine. At this point people seem to fall into two categories, feeling either happily buzzed, or fearfully breathless. Some may even experience heart palpitations and most will feel the urge to use the bathroom due to the fact that caffeine also blocks the adenosine receptors in your kidneys and colon.

One to five hours after consuming caffeine, your body figures out that it has been doped (quite literally) and defends itself by releasing a rush of adrenaline. You could think of it as an internal alarm system speeding up your heart rate and increasing your blood pressure.The liver enzymes respond similarly, causing more of an alert and sometimes even a jittery high.

At around hour 5 or 6 hours the caffeine high starts to slip away, leaving you as high and dry as a jilted lover.

Then, only 12 hours after taking that first sip, the caffeine releases its grip on your neurovascular system allowing your blood vessels to relax again. Ugh. Bring on the headaches and the fatigue!

In this short amount of time you have put your body through the ringer, fueling yourself with a drug that leaves you wanting more. Caffeine can be a useful tool when used in moderation but when reaching for that coffee, consider the facts first!


Read all articles by Juniper Briggs

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