Today, we’re going to step away from the job world a little bit to take a look at something that most of us engage with every day. Now, drugs are bad, mmkay, but this one is vital to American and global productivity and happiness.
No, it’s not alcohol. Come on guys…
It’s caffeine. A little white crystal that makes the world go round.
While you drink your coffee, tea, or double triple mocha frappa macchiato, take a look at this list of 12 caffeine facts.
Fact #1: Caffeine looks really pretty. Whether you’re a chemist or a casual consumer, you can’t deny the attractive shape of the molecule.
Fact #2: Not only is the chemical structure pretty, the image of it under an electron microscope is breathtaking.
Fact #3: Caffeine is very fast acting, moving into the brain as quickly as ten minutes. Although, it probably would be faster if you just mainlined it into your veins.
Fact #4: Caffeine stays in the body for up to 7 hours. This can increase in pregnant women, up to 10.5 hours.
Fact #5: Caffeine can kill you. Before you drink that tenth cup o’ joe, maybe just read this. About 5 grams of caffeine (about 30 to 50 cups of coffee) can cause seizures and heart fibrillation (that’s bad, mmkay?).
Fact #6: Caffeine withdrawal is a recognized mental health condition. You probably won’t be able to get Xanax with it, but your doctor might give you acetaminophen (that’s Tylenol by the way) for the headaches.
Fact #7: Caffeine acts on your brain. I won’t bore you with the neurochemical details, but basically it blocks a chemical thought to promote sleep and suppress arousal called adenosine.
Fact #8: There are better times to drink coffee than others. It basically has a lot to do with the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body and how they cycle. Peak times to drink coffee? 9:30-11:30 am and then again from 1:30-5:00 pm.
Fact #9: Caffeine is good for maximum gains, bro. Due to caffeine’s focusing effect and the quick energy boost, Dr. Michael Duncan, an exercise expert, says that your workout can be more efficient after about two cups.
Fact #10: According to Dr. Peter Martin, caffeine addiction isn’t a real thing. Dr. Martin is an expert on addiction at Vanderbilt (evidently, they have a literal Institute of Coffee Studies) and says that caffeine addiction is “minor-league stuff” when compared to hardcore drugs.
Fact #11: Caffeine in the form of coffee can actually extend your life. This is due more to the other chemicals in coffee, such as antioxidants, but hey! Enjoy that caffeine too!
Fact #12: Caffeine can help improve the efficiency of painkillers. Remember how I mentioned acetaminophen? Caffeine can help that chemical out, meaning you have to take fewer pills. There is also some evidence that caffeine itself has painkilling qualities.
Pretty cool stuff. A few of these may even come to mind the next time you take a drink of coffee.
What’s that? You’re mid-sip?
Huh, so am I.