The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug

The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug

Millions of Americans use caffeinated beverages every day as a pick me up. It is after all the world’s most popular drug and with new caffeine infused products like energy drinks, gum and even beef jerky hitting the shelves, our love affair with caffeine shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Caffeine is an interesting drug because when enters the body it breaks up into three different yet very similar molecules. When metabolized in the liver, enzymes chisel off one of three methyl groups to form these three metabolites with three different effects on your body: Theobromine. Paraxanthine. Theopylline. While in the brain, this caffeine party crashes adenosine receptors blocking the normal guest, adenosine from doing its job. Adenosine is responsible for slowing down your back giving our brains giving us the cue to calm down and take a nap. Also adenosine is responsible for regulating neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine. As you can see, adenosine is also quite similar to caffeine in structure, which is why caffeine binds so easily to the adenosine protein receptors. Once connected, caffeine increases the activity in neurotransmitters like dopamine ultimately leading to heightened brain activity. Then the three metabolites perform
their own specific functions. Theobromine increases oxygen and
nutrient flow to the brain. Paraxanthine enhances your body’s athletic performance by increasing the rate a fat breakdown to fuel muscle activity. Theopylline increase your heart rate and reinforces your ability to concentrate. And although these effects come together to produce a state of wakefulness, too much caffeine can turn sour pretty quick. At higher doses caffeine is known to cause jitters, anxiety and just general all-around
discomfort. For this reason scientists have found four hundred milligrams is the safest average dose of caffeine for adults. To put that into perspective, that’ll be around three eight-ounce cups of coffee, five eight-ounce Red Bulls or a whopping eight cups black tea. And on a side note site it’s also found that caffeine becomes toxic around 10 grams, which works out to be about seventy five cups of coffee, or 180 cups black tea. However in the lethal limit does vary widely from person to person. Hey thanks for watching folks. Stay tune next week, we’ve got more science coming your way that can only make you smarter. And if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe, so that you don’t miss anything. Oh and if you have any chemistry themed questions, make sure to post them in the comments, they might be in upcoming videos.

22 thoughts on “The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug

  1. Producing and consumption of coffee, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, etc are important role of our industries. And people working under such a condition need a most. Like a car need gas.

  2. Could you do a video about the genetic SNP CYP1A2*1F that causes slow metabolism of caffeine? Also maybe talk about how to best avoid habituation. Staying at the same caffeine dose for a week or two renders it ineffective for me. So I take more, and after awhile on a high dose, I begin having side effects such as vascular congestion in my legs (venous pooling) that's uncomfortable.

  3. can you tell me what is difference in basicity between caffeine, theophylline and theobromine.
    and what is the most basic and why?

  4. The bible is the #1 drug it has words in it that effect the brain more than any known drugs can do ,,but it is positive and free

  5. @UCdJ9oJ2GUF8Vmb-G63ldGWg
    This video is BullShit. 3 cups of coffee a day? What A Big Load of 33 degree freemason Agenda Cult Club Crap. It should not be consumed at all. Only have it now and then, not every week, and just have one. Coffee and caffeine is Poison.

  6. But why am I intolerant of caffeine and my friend who has the same chronic illness as me chugs cups daily no problems?

  7. can you guys do a video on how exactly caffeine impacts the brain? seeing as it is a drug, i assume consuming it daily must impact brain chemistry somewhat, right?

  8. C. Thomas Wild – Caffeine works for some with ADHD; food additives in FDA approved medicines and foods need better labels.


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