Caffeine

Caffeine is found in coffee, as well as tea, cola and chocolates cocoa beans, cola nuts, and Guarana.

Caffeine is believed to help prevent Parkinson’s disease, a disease marked by low or damaged dopamine levels.

Caffeine belongs to a class of compounds called xanthines. Adenosine is another xanthine, which functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain. When adenosine receptors are blocked such as what happens when caffeine occupies them, dopamine concentration increases.

Caffeine itself is a cell stimulant that is unique in and of itself because it acts on the nerve cell itself and not the synapse.

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant of nerve tissue in the brain especially the cerebral cortex. The pharmacological and behavioral effects of caffeine include wakefulness, increased mental alertness, faster and clearer flow of thoughts and restlessness. Additionally, caffeine exerts a stimulating effect on the heart, resulting in an increase in cardiac output and an increased heart rate..

Pharmacology

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, promotes adrenaline release and increases diuresis. Caffeine also increases free fatty acid levels by stimulating the lipolysis of adipose tissue. Lipolysis allows for the deployment of fats stores in the production of energy, thereby providing the fuel required in endurance exercise. In none endurance settings, fatty acids are hardly ever metabolized as fuel. Carbohydrate is the predominant nutrient used to fuel exercise.

Sports Advantages

Caffeine consumption delays the onset of exhaustion and increases the amount of total work performed during exercise.One reason for this involves an increase in fat metabolism in muscle with the consequence of sparing of glycogen stores. The longer glycogen stores in the liver and muscle remain, available the easier glucose can become available. When glucose is unavailable, exercise becomes terminated as fatigue sets in.

Caffeine acts as a diuretic by causing the dilation of blood vessels within the kidney. Caffeine loading is very popular among athletes, with some professional teams providing black coffee during training. However, large excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to insomnia, cardiac arrhythmia, gastric upset and polyuria.

 

 

More in this category: Medicinal Plant Monographs »