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This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-is-how-your-brain-becomes-addicted-to-caffeine-26861037/

smithsonianmag.com

This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine
Regular ingestion of the drug alters your brain's chemical makeup, leading to fatigue, headaches and nausea if you try to quit

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Coffee As An Addictive Substance

Coffee As An Addictive Substance
  • Coffee is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, with over 80 percent of American adults having it daily.
  • Quitting caffeine produces withdrawal symptoms like lack of alertness, fatigue, and headache.
  • While it is a well-known fact that caffeine is a chemically addictive substance, the withdrawal symptoms are now categorized as a mental disorder.

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How Coffee Affects Us

  • When we have coffee, it gets absorbed in our gut as well as in our bloodstream. As the chemical is soluble in water and fat both, it can easily enter the brain.
  • Adenosine, a molecule present in our brain which is remarkably similar to caffeine, is responsible for a feeling of tiredness.
  • Caffeine acts like a doppelganger and is able to fit in the receptors that adenosine fits, preventing any tiredness to occur for a few hours.
  • The surplus adenosine now floating in the brain signals that adrenal gland to produce and secrete adrenaline, which is also a stimulant.

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Addicted To Coffee

The chemistry of the brain changes when a person takes a regular intake of caffeine, as it grows more adenosine receptors.

Eventually, it takes more caffeine to feel the effects, and as there are now more receptors, not having a stimulant results in ‘caffeine withdrawal headache’ and other symptoms due to the original molecule connecting to the increased number of receptors in the brain.

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Coffee Is Easy To Quit

The good news is that the caffeine habit is easy to break, as your brain sets to baseline levels in about two weeks of caffeine resistance.

The withdrawal symptoms only persist for about 7 to 12 days, after which your brain decreases the number of adenosine receptors, breaking your addiction.

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Caffeine worsens your anxiety

Caffeine worsens your anxiety

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Jolts of energy from caffeine

The explanation behind the surge of energy you get from drinking coffee is: caffeine blocks the receptors that are meant to be for adenosine.

Adenosine plays a number of bodily functions, but during our bodies' waking hours it builds up in the receptors which causes us to feel sleepy and less alert. So, when we intake caffeinated drinks, the caffeine blocks the receptors that are meant for the adenosine to build up and also could trigger the release of adrenaline.

Tracking your caffeine intake

According to the FDA, 400 milligrams of coffee is deemed to have any harmful effects on healthy adults. However, those who are pregnant and suffer from anxiety and panic disorders should drink no more than 200 milligrams per day.

If you believe that caffeine is worsening your anxiety, keep a diary with you at all times to keep track of your caffeine intake and anxiety symptoms and log them. Check your logs to see if there are any patterns that show up.

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The first step

Sugar is responsible for a number of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar depletes your energy and can contribute to depression.

Removing sugar from your ...

You can feel lousy

Sugar is as addictive as nicotine, cocaine, and morphine. Sugar leads to a rush similar to injecting heroin. It leads to a vicious cycle of cravings for more sugar to feel good.  

Stopping your sugar intake could result in withdrawal symptoms - at least at first.

Symptoms of sugar withdrawal

A sugar detox can cause unpleasant physical and mental symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks. Sugar cravings can be worse in between meals or when you feel stressed. 


Physical withdrawal symptoms include light-headedness, nausea, tingling and fatigue.

Prevent Tiredness

General tiredness affects the majority of people.

Here are a few basic ideas to have all-day energy:

  1. Respect your body's sleep cycle
  2. Move around
  3. Moderate coffee int...

Respecting your body's sleep cycle

It is imperative to sleep 7 to 9 hours for most adults.

An alarm clock or phone alarm can interfere with the body's sleep cycle to wake us up before a cycle is completed. It is healthier to sleep while not being simulated and wake up naturally.

Don't be a Couch Potato

Apart from rest, it is crucial to have a daily exercise routine and get some sun exposure regularly.

Human beings are designed to move and be in the sun, trekking and toiling for hours. If you are feeling tired, walking outside in nature and getting some sun will help.