Science Byte: on coffee

Written by Marie Brown

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What does coffee do to our bodies?

Coffee is renowned for bringing a burst of energy when we need it most, but what does this caffeinated treasure actually do to our bodies?

A single cup of coffee will stay in the blood stream for over 12 hours, with the caffeine entering the bloodstream just over 20 minutes after consumption. Once the molecules are in the blood, they can reach cells all across the body, having impacts on many different organs.

Firstly, blood pressure will increase. While this may sound negative, for the majority this is not a problem, although it is something to be wary of if you already have high blood pressure or a heart condition. Caffeine also increases stomach acidity, which helps digestion but is probably best avoided on an empty stomach. The chemical also helps open up the lungs helping you to breathe easier.

But the real reason we all drink coffee is for its effect on the brain. Caffeine is a stimulant, as such, it increases alertness, concentration, and memory. Whilst it doesn’t actually make you more energetic, it reduces the feeling of being tired, giving a similar effect. It even releases dopamine, providing a well-needed mood boost. On the flip side, coffee is also associated with anxiety and restlessness if drunk often enough.

So there you have it, coffee the wonder drink, here to make those long hours studying count, just don’t overdo it!

About the author

Marie Brown


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