How does caffeine affect the brain?

How does caffeine affect the brain?


Warning: this video was made under the influence of caffeine! So you get to work after a long commute and
you’re feeling a bit tired, you reach for a coffee and within seconds you feel more
awake – how is the coffee affecting your brain? Stay tuned to find out! There’s no doubt about it, drinking a coffee or any caffeinated drink when you feel tired will make you feel
more alert but let’s take a second to think about what coffee is. Coffee comes from the
coffee plant which grows in many places but primarily Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. The
seeds, also called coffee beans, are packaged and shipped all over the world and are then
brewed into your favourite coffee at your local coffee shop.The types of coffee available
are endless but no matter which you drink they will all make you feel more alert, because
they contain caffeine. How does caffeine make you more alert? It’s all to do with the
neuroscience. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and so when it binds to receptors in the brain
it reduces nerve activity and makes you sleepy. To the receptors in the brain, caffeine looks
just like adenosine and so it can bind to those receptors too – but it doesn’t reduce
nerve activity, it just stops adenosine binding. Therefore the neurons aren’t inhibited, they
just speed up- which stops you feeling sleepy and instead makes you more alert and awake! So
there you have it, next time you reach for a coffee to give you that buzz, you’ll know
how it affects your brain – just make sure you don’t drink too much as you might end
up with a bad case of the caffeine jitters! Subscribe to Soton Brain Hub for more videos
to help explain the mysteries of the brain!

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