In New York City, the lights outshine the streets, the people never sleep and the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee invades the city.
Starbucks, The Roasterie, Tim Horton’s, and The Coffee Bean… need I say more? Coffee’s highly addictive essence fulfills the minds of business workers, celebrities, doctors, and especially students. Coffee shops await for people to come bombarding in knocking down chairs, jumping on tables and attacking their fellow residents to become the champion of being the first in line (theoretically true) to give out their nickname to be written on the fancy paper cup filled with their favorite steamy macchiato. The tendency for high school and college students taking advantage of the addictive drinks are excessively high when it comes to cramming for an exam. In the minds of many students, once we know we have to pull an all-nighter for an exam, our minds crave that freshly brewed, Colombian coffee consisting of a caffeinated substance to embellish our minds. Our reaction, we feel ready to go and energized for studying, but how does our brain react when the power of caffeine takes over?
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The substance empowering espresso shots, frappuccinos, caramel macchiatos and many other fancy-Italian based names are suppressed with white crystalline xanthine alkaloids, known as caffeine. Caffeine acts as a stimulant drug enhancing more energy throughout the body and keeping the mind alert and cautious. Caffeine’s goal is to stimulate the mind, helping us stay focused and motivated for a specific task such as finishing a project for biology class or studying for the ACTs. According to the National Coffee Association of U.S.A Inc. of a study in 2005, shows that over 53 percent from ages of 18 or older drink coffee on a daily basis. Overall, coffee is a general factor in the society we live in, but are the benefits of using this factor at twelve o’clock at night to finish an essay for an English class really that harmful? Yes, due to various potential risks such as heart attacks and liver malfunctions.
When the brain becomes fatigued, the adenosine molecules, one of the most important organic molecules consisted of energy attached to a ribose sugar molecule, kick in and inhibit the brain. The molecules of adenosine bind to the receptor proteins that may cause the symptoms of drowsiness and the desire of sleep. When a student orders a peppermint mocha at eight o’clock at night may lead to a drastic effect in the brain. Once the coffee has entered the body, the protein receptors become unstable, meaning they confuse the caffeinated substance as the adenosine molecule. Thus, the protein receptor binds with the caffeinated substance causing tissues in the brain to damage and the body exposing epinephrine, a chemical hormone produced in the heart, causing the heart to increase in heart rate and pump blood to the heart excessively. The exposure of epinephrine to the heart may lead to the risk of a heart attack.
Coffee’s delight to the taste buds and motivation in the brain has its perks, but it is a factor to be aware of in the future. So, next time try the decaf!