Caffeine - The Hidden Psychedelic
Caffeine is a unregulated widely consumed psychoactive drug hidden in plain sight that is found naturally in coffee, tea and cocoa. Talk about not being a drug user right , I am already guilty of using this drug on many occasions.
In plants, caffeine acts as a natural pesticide that paralyses and kills many insects feeding upon them. So yes in the plants perspective its a defence mechanism.However there are also evolved plants that have been lacing their nectar with small doses of caffeine to keep bees coming back for the loyal goodness. Talk about being a junkie , the bees have been reeled in too.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, having the effect of warding off tiredness and restoring alertness. which is a adenosine receptor antagonist: with a similar structure to adenosine, caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors, acting as an imposter and blocking the actions of adenosine, leading to feelings of wakefulness. The natural chemical found in plants mimics the structures in the brain - Once again the uncanny connection between the nature around us and the composition of our brain is present.
If you are from an caffeine laced culture you will be at first hand with this drug , Tea with breakfast , Tea at dinner , tea when your bored , tea when you take a break, tea with rusks, tea when family is over , tea ,tea ,tea, its more like addiction , addiction, addiction and more addiction ! we are slaves to the junkie traditions of our forefathers that has to be removed for our awareness to rise and see that this habit is killing us and making us mad.
Anyways back to the topic at hand I am going to point out the main advantages of this along with the disadvantages of the natural stimulant.
1) Increased Performance
Many controlled studies show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including mood memory, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function.
2) Contains Essential Nutrients.
A cup of coffee Contains the following in small amounts
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) ,Manganese and potassium ,Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3).
3) Boosts metabolism and fat burning.
Drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee can gently raise your metabolic rate which in turn burns more fat and generates more heat.
4) Medicinal Additive.
Caffeine is the most commonly used medication for treatment of apnea of prematurity. Its effect has been well established in reducing the frequency of apnea, in preterm infants. (basically breathing assistance)
It is also used by combination with OTC painkillers (such as aspirin and Ibuprofen) to increase uptake of the active ingredient in the blood.
Due to the increase in blood pressure and the increased blockage of adenosine receptors in the brain - large amounts have shown to increase stress and elevate anxiety.
This is due to the caffeine leaving your body and not crossing through your brain anymore.The receptors do not get the kick so they slow down and you get tired.
3) Frequent urination
Caffeine has mild diuretic effects - makes you want to go to the toilet more often however this is found more prevalent at high levels.
This is one of the worst parts about that cup , caffeine works similar to cocaine in the brain and keeps you hooked. Studies have shown psychological or physical withdrawal e.g headaches , fatigue but not true addiction. Dependancy is more based on the effects it causes hence when you do not get that hit you want it more.
So far according to the research I have found caffeine at low levels has been found to be promising to health but in higher doses is a complete health nightmare especially if you also suffer from anxiety or have present mental illnesses. There are even studies found that in high concentrations it can lead to hallucinations and even death.So the next time you pick up that cup of coffee , tea or hot chocolate and your brains races like you are seated on a rollercoaster and you want to fight everyone you meet just remember its the caffeine speaking within you.
In low doses there is brain enhancement but in large doses a hidden killer is present with no advantages. Nature is the natural drug dealer enticing us with its supply but if we get hooked on for too long its leads us straight to death.