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This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine

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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This Is How Your Brain Becomes Addicted to Caffeine

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

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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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