What does caffeine do to your mind

Many of us drink coffee – and many of us drink it is habitually. It’s a very easy form of beverage to enjoy in just about any company or situation. You can get so many forms of coffee, too, that it’s actually hard to find one that won’t suit someone at least a little. Outside of allergies, coffee comes in so many forms that it would be hard to find something that wasn’t at least slightly agreeable. One thing we often don’t think about, though, is the effect of all that caffeine on the old noggin.

When we drink a coffee, as you’ll likely feel, you get that extra jolt of concentration and alertness. This is because caffeine binds our adenosine receptors, making it impossible for the chemical that makes us feel tired to work properly. In essence, we essentially stop our body from being able to produce the chemical that creates fatigue.

Part of the reason why some of us drink so much coffee, then, is down to the fact that the mind develops. It makes up new adenosine receptors, so you need more coffee to get that original buzz. Now that you can see what caffeine does to the mind, what else does it do?

How does caffeine affect your memory

Caffeine has a positive effect on the memory, as far as studies show. Studies in the past have shown that there is a correlation between using caffeine and the improvement of long-term memory. Indeed, it’s not the only health benefit that one can enjoy from taking caffeine, but it’s a memory booster indeed.

A dose of caffeine post-learning can do a lot to help intake that memory and improve your long-term memory. For those who are worried that all of that rollercoaster energy might make it hard for their mind to handle the pressure in later life, fear not. There’s no evidence to show that drinking caffeine and having a ‘crash’ will eventually lead to your mind suffering from the long-term effects of drinking caffeine.

So, while we obviously recommend to drink coffee and other caffeinated drinks in a sensible manner, it’s effect on memory is yet to be shown as a negative one, only a positive. 

Can caffeine cause loss of memory

While caffeine is a mental stimulant and it has been shown to help memory (as above), it does have a drawback. If you are to take in a caffeine excess, it can lead to you feeling signs of foggy mindedness, and it can make recalling something that would have been easy just an hour before a lot tougher. While it does last and another coffee would help to solve the issue and get you thinking clearly again, withdrawal can indeed leave you without any kind of clarity.

This is a very significant issue, but don’t conflate it with memory loss. Often, a foggy mind can come from a lack of caffeine that leaves you worrying about something more significant. Be vigilant about your help, but a memory lapse can often be down to caffeine withdrawal for those who drink caffeinated drinks habitually. 

How does caffeine affect the body

While you have seen above that your mind goes into to deal with an intake of caffeine, what can it do to the body?

  • For one, caffeine acts as a form of stimulus to the nervous system. When it reaches the brain, it creates that buzz and alertness. That isn’t all that it does, though.
  • You will generally feel more alert, able to react quicker physically and keep up the pace at work a little easier. 
  • However, you may feel that your heartbeat picks up a fair amount. It means that you tend to feel that your heart is racing, and if you have a pre-existing condition this should be investigated.
  • Muscle aches and pains are often a sign of caffeine withdrawal in some people, though it’s not always the case.
  • Caffeine does have a major negative trait, though – it stops your bones from taking in calcium to the same degree. Naturally, this can improve your chances of issues like osteoporosis. 

So, what does drinking a lot of caffeine eventually lead to? 

What are the long term effects of caffeine

Like anything else, a constant barrage of one form of ‘drug’ like caffeine can have major side-effects. If you were to drink more than four cups of coffee per day for an extensive period of time, then you might find that it helps to contribute to common issues such as:

  • High blood pressure, leaving you needing to counteract the impact elsewhere.
  • Uncertainty and anxiety thanks to the constant rollercoaster of caffeine crashes.
  • Potential issues with fertility, though more has to be done to look into this topic.
  • Issues sleeping or gaining any kind of functional sleeping pattern that’s regulated.
  • Heartburn and indigestion on a regular basis.
  • Osteoporosis and brittle bones due to the lack of calcium intake that’s capable. 

Therefore, it’s important that you take better care of your body. If you worry about the impact of caffeine, either scale back on your intake or counter the symptoms. Look at positive ways to help counteract the negative traits that you can find developing, whilst cutting down on caffeine intake over four cups per day, and you can find it’s easier to adjust. 

How long do the effects of caffeine last

Usually, the effect of caffeine can kick in and be active in under an hour. In terms of the fact that we take in caffeine so quickly in just 45 minutes, most of the time we can find that it can last for many more hours. You usually find that your body can be reeling from the effects of one coffee very quickly, and still take in another on top of it.

With a caffeine lasting for as long as 6 hours, on average 4, multiple coffees only help to top up the experience. Therefore, you should try to make sure that coffees are balanced out in terms of when they are drunk, but without drinking a coffee too late in the day to avoid issues with your sleeping pattern. 

Paul Mason

coffee blogger

Interested to know more about Hot Coffee? Got a question about our content or perhaps want to make a suggestion? The feel free to contact us today.

We’ll be more than happy to take a look at any comments, requests or queries that you may have. Thanks for your time, and we hope that your next cup of coffee that you enjoy is the best one that you’ve had, every time! 

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