Is it okay if I say DUH? I mean, will you feel offended?
The Chemistry of Coffee: Caffeine 101.
It is a STIMULANT. It is a drug. It is considered the world’s most popular psychoactive drug.
Caffeine is a chemical that attaches to part of your nervous system; it blocks the spot where the molecule-that-makes-you-sleepy ought to attach. Caffeine is a competitive little bugger. It wants that spot! After it has landed-and-locked, it stays there for a while. It prevents you from becoming drowsy. It halts relaxation. Somewhere between 20 to 60 minutes after you consume it, it has blocked enough spots to make you forget about resting. You’re revved up.
In small doses – according to your genetics and lifestyle factors – it creates the conditions that pleasantly increase your activity level and attention.
Okay. That’s nice.
Folks, small is the key word here. In one cup of American coffee there are about 100 milligrams of caffeine. Noooowwwww, you know there is more to coffee than your basic cup-o’-joe…you’ve got your espresso, your dark roast, your cappuccino…your french press, your drip, your percolator… Of course, all coffees are not the same. So, yes, with your variations in coffee types, you get variation in caffeine doses.
A small dose could be as little as a sip or as much as a cup. The amount of caffeine that does anything more than give you a wee-little lift is more than a small dose.
The Chemistry of Coffee: Caffeine 201.
Indeed, there is such a thing as a dangerous dose.
How someone came up with it– considering variations in people’s genetics, weight, age and lifestyle factors, plus the issue of other co-consumed toxic substances or habits that deplete the human body – is beyond me. Yet, here it is: It’s 400 mg.
Hey, folks: That’s 400 total milligrams in a day. That includes anything and everything containing caffeine: your coffee, your energy drink, your protein bar, your emergency-chocolate… Add it up; if it is 400 mg, it’s too much.
Yes, it can kill you. One high school student who, within a two hour time span, had 400 mg, collapsed from cardiac arrest right there in his class. He died.
By the way, a grande at Starbucks has about 330 mg caffeine. (You might want to read that again.)
The Chemistry of Coffee: Caffeine 301.
When NASA tested caffeine-laden spiders’ web-building ability, the poor things could not even get their spinnerets to spray straight. The webs looked like they were made by five-legged blind spiders who had not slept in years. I am not kidding you. Those poor spiders could barely do a damn thing.
Oh, for Pete’s sake, of course you are not a spider. But you have a nervous system. I am giving you something to think about. Even if you don’t like spiders, you’ve got to admit, those webs – woven by spiders in their right minds – are impressive. Metaphorically speaking, you don’t want your webs lopsided, cockeyed or the laughing stock of NASA.
If you want to read about it, look it up. You’ll find it. Try: NASA gave spiders drugs to look at their webs. The photos are impressive. Apparently, NASA wanted to know if little spideys could be used by Big Pharma, for research on the toxicity of drugs. That’s why it was done. (I know. I know! …Now you have to wonder if there were any spiders harmed in the making of your pharmaceutical goto’s. Another thing to worry about! God!! Where does it all end? … Don’t like spiders? Ah. Good. There ya go: Like water off a duck’s back.)
The Chemistry of Coffee: Caffeine 401.
The quickest baccalaureate (The Bac) on Caffeine is coming to a close. Soon you will get your cap and gown.
This 400-level class is where it gets practical. Hearken back to Caffeine 101. Remember that little expression psychoactive drug? It was underlined in that lesson, too.
Let’s use the Socratic Method: Does it make a lick of sense to use any caffeine if you have a propensity towards neurological tension – anxiety, for example? Considering caffeine’s negative effects include the following handy list of misery, maybe it’s worth reconsidering.
Some effects of Caffeine:
High Blood Pressure
Rapid Heart Beat
So, if your get-up-and-go involves coffee, you might want to reconsider WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT OR NEED ANY MORE AGITATION IN YOUR BODY THAN YOU MIGHT ALREADY HAVE.
And, here is where the irrepressible DUH comes into the post.