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What is caffeine, and is it good or bad for health? Here's the explanation

LEFT CIRCLE – Every day, billions of people depend on caffeine to wake up, or to get through the night shift or afternoon slump. In fact, this natural stimulant is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the world. Caffeine is often talked about because of its negative effects on sleep and anxiety. However, research also reports that it has various health benefits.
This article looks at the latest research on caffeine and your health.

What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found mostly in tea, coffee and cocoa. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent fatigue. Historians trace the first brewed tea to 2737 BC.

Coffee was reportedly discovered years later by an Ethiopian shepherd who noticed the extra energy exerted on his goats. Caffeinated soft drinks entered the market in the late 1800s and energy drinks soon followed.
Today, 80% of the world’s population consumes caffeinated products every day, and this number increases to 90% for adults in North America.

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Caffeine is a natural stimulant that is widely consumed throughout the world. This helps you stay awake and can prevent fatigue.
How it works
Once consumed, caffeine is quickly absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. From there, it travels to the liver and is broken down into compounds that can affect the function of various organs.

That said, caffeine’s main effect is on the brain.
It works by blocking the effects of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that relaxes the brain and makes you feel tired.
Usually, adenosine levels increase throughout the day, making you more tired and causing you to want to sleep.

Caffeine helps you stay awake by connecting to adenosine receptors in the brain without activating them. This blocks the effects of adenosine, leading to less fatigue. It can also increase blood adrenaline levels and increase brain activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
This combination further stimulates the brain and increases arousal, alertness, and focus.

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Because it affects your brain, caffeine is often referred to as a psychoactive drug. Plus, caffeine tends to take effect quickly.
For example, the amount found in one cup of coffee takes at least 20 minutes to reach the bloodstream and about 1 hour to reach full effectiveness. The main effect of caffeine is on the brain. It stimulates the brain by blocking the effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine.