Coffee and tea have come to be some of the most popular drinks in the current world. Coincidentally, it happens that the two are some of the richest sources of caffeine. So does caffeine affect the brain in any way? Does it mean that taking or being addicted to caffeine can alter or reduce the brain’s capability to collect and retain memories?
The truth about caffeine
Caffeine is categorized under drugs known as stimulants. The stimulants work by producing a stimulating effect to the user’s body. This is achieved by either inhibiting or amplifying a certain nerves’ communication process.
Once taken, caffeine creates an imbalance in the level of a substance known as dopamine. Dopamine is one of the many communication agents (neurotransmitters) used for brain communications. It is also responsible for feelings such as pleasure, physical activities and even alertness.
Caffeine specifically increases the level of dopamine synthesis. This means that the user will experience heightened effects of pleasure or impaired physical movements.
The relationship between caffeine and the brain
- Caffeine does not in any way make you smarter or duller than you already are. All that it does is heighten certain emotions or feelings for sometimes.
- The problem arises in cases of addiction. The more a user gets used to taking caffeine; they may end up getting addicted. This means that it is almost impossible to concentrate on a certain activity without taking a dosage of caffeine.
- There is no link between the part of the brain responsible for sleep and caffeine. For this reason, any episodes of insomnia you might be experiencing have nothing to do with caffeine. However, you are likely to develop headaches or even migraines if you withdraw from taking caffeine when you are used to. This is only due to the drop in the available levels of dopamine.
- Caffeine will definitely not contribute to a better development of your brain. It also will not help you remember or understand things faster. The only way caffeine can be helpful is in keeping you alert for some short durations of time. Further, it will be important to take a dosage of caffeine-containing drinks in case you are used to caffeine. Otherwise, you will find yourself having all kinds of problems in staying focused and alert. Worse comes when you have to deal with very mild headaches and migraines.