Let’s first start with a brief historical overview of caffeine.
Caffeine is found in nature in small amounts, but its use as a stimulant only began about 1,500 years ago, when it was isolated from coffee beans and tea leaves. Its effects were described by the poet Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), who lived during the era of medieval Islamic science.
Caffeine is a bitter white powder or brown crystals that are mostly tasteless. It has been used as a stimulant for centuries, especially in the drinks coffee and tea. It occurs naturally in cocoa beans, kola nuts, and other plants.
Caffeine’s effects on the human body can be very small to large depending upon how much of it a person consumes. If too much is consumed it can cause anxiety and panic attacks.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which means that it causes increased alertness and activity. It is also known to increase concentration.
When caffeine is consumed, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and attaches to adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that helps control blood flow throughout the body. Caffeine’s activation of these receptors then reduces adenosine activity by causing more acetylcholine (a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter) production than normal.
This leads to an increase in activity and alertness.
Caffeine is classified as a drug and it is the most widely used stimulant in the world. It can be found naturally in plants but is also produced synthetically.