When you make your morning brew or enjoy your afternoon cup of coffee, apart from great, pleasing taste do you need that caffeine boost for physical reasons? As one of the nation's favourite drinks, we enjoy the benefits of caffeine alongside our favourite roast. Yet, just what exactly does this dose of strong caffeine do to your body? Let's explore...
We all know the feeling you get when you need to wake up, be alert and find a store of energy as soon as possible, and that’s when we usually opt for coffee. This is because on average about 20 minutes after your first cup of coffee (although it can be 10 minutes with a strong option like our gymBrew) and you begin to feel the benefits that are largely associated with one of the world's most popular drinks. That’s exactly why we all reach for a fresh brew in the morning, especially on Mondays!
Just how does coffee wake you up?
You feel the awakening effects as the stimulating caffeine enters your bloodstream and quickly finds its way to your brain.This is because caffeine binds to adenosine receptors in the brain. The role of adenosine in the brain is that it is a nervous system depressant, suppressing arousal and promoting sleep, so ideally you would want more active adenosine receptors at night. When caffeine slots in and binds to the receptors, adenosine's effects are counteracted, and we become alert, awake and stimulated. Hence why coffee is the perfect drink for early mornings.
Extra brain activity
The caffeine in coffee, which is activating your brain’s adenosine receptors then has a domino effect by stimulating your adrenal glands to begin pumping out adrenaline. It has been proven that within twenty minutes, your pupils will dilate as a result of this natural exciter. Meaning you could temporarily enjoy sharper vision as well as an endurance boost. Not only does this wake your mind and body, coffee has been proven to improve mood by stimulating the release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical that lifts our spirits!
An extra bonus - some studies also suggest that this chemical action of the caffeine can improve memory loss long term. This means consuming one strong cup daily can promote a deeper level of memory retention, promoting healthier brain function!
Your metabolism gets a boost
The average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16% higher than that of those who drank decaf, according to the journal Physiology & Behavior. This means you’ll burn more calories during the day, during a workout or even sitting on the sofa, as your metabolism is revved up via caffeine. A cup of black coffee is a good choice for a pre-workout beverage, too (we’ve wrote more on this here) by boosting recovery and helping your muscles relax quicker!