Coffee really does sharpen you up
Wednesday, April 23, 2008/
In tough times, you’ve got to stay sharp – and no doubt for many people that means an extra large strong caffe latte to kick off the day. But ever wondered how coffee helps you think?
According to Wired, during the day a chemical associated with mental fatigue called adenosine builds up in the brain. Caffeine blocks the brain’s adenosine receptors, diminishing the sense of fatigue and the brain muddles that go with it.
But a bit of strategy is required to get the biggest boost out of your caffeine hit. A big coffee blast first thing in the morning will get you started, but the effect will quickly fade once the caffeine stops blocking the adenosine receptors.
Regular smaller doses of caffeine – say a cup of tea every couple of hours – are more effective in keeping you alert because this keeps the adenosine receptors blocked for a longer period of time. Test subjects given regular small caffeine hits reported feel clearheaded, but more calm and less jittery than those who took a single big coffee shot.