Caffeine Basics: Online Book

Chapters, presented in sequential posts, cover how caffeine works and caffeine's effects on different people. Coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, soda, yerba mate, guarana, and other sources are profiled, with caffeine amounts in each. Topics include pros and cons of caffeine, mental and physical effects. how long caffeine lasts in the body, health, safety, women, children, teens, research and recommendations.

Caffeine Basics: Intro and Contents

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Caffeine Basics: A User's Manual * Caffeine came without instructions. THIS is the missing manual.* Welcome to my free online book about the basics of caffeine – including coffee, tea, chocolate, soda energy drinks and more. Think of this as your "user's manual" for caffeine. It's a complete book and separate from my blog posts. You can move through the chapters sequentially: arrows at the bottom of each Caffeine Basics Post lead you to the next entry in the book. Or you can jump around … [Read more...]

1. How Caffeine Works: Flipping the Switch


Most of us treat caffeine like electricity: We don't care to know how it works; we just flip the switch and the power turns on. Here's what happens when you flip the caffeine switch... Caffeine streams throughout the body Caffeine enters the brain Caffeine changes how you feel and think Caffeine produces short and long-term effects Caffeine acts differently in moderation than in high doses Caffeine makes us want more of it Caffeine Basics: Table of Contents … [Read more...]

A Quick Inventory of Caffeine’s Effects


Nobody forces us to ingest caffeine. It's not necessary. We choose to do so. In studies where participants didn't know they were ingesting caffeine, they opted for caffeinated beverages over non-caffeinated ones. This suggests that something in caffeine makes our brains love it, or at least want it, whether we know it or not. So even without understanding how caffeine works, it's easy to understand our attraction to caffeine. Here's a rundown of the bells and whistles that come with a low … [Read more...]

What Does Caffeine Do in Your Brain?


Coffee, tea, chocolate and cola drinks are the most traditional sources of caffeine. Energy drinks and energy shots are the latest methods to boost your body with caffeine. So what happens when you perk up with one of these substances? Throughout the day, brain cells create a neurotransmitter known as adenosine. Adenosine, often shortened to "ado," is the first key to understanding how caffeine works. It's what makes us sleepy and triggers hibernation in animals. Adenosine gradually builds … [Read more...]

Why We Love Caffeine


People Love Caffeine, But Why? Japanese pachinko machines work like regular pinball machines, except instead of playing one large steel ball at a time, they shoot off dozens of smaller balls, clattering loudly through the playing field, bouncing, racing and ricocheting into obstacles, bumpers and rabbit holes. Lights flash, whistles blow, bells ding, all the while the balls are in play. Until they gradually exit the playing space and everything stops. Kind of like your body on … [Read more...]

2. Natural Caffeine: Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, and Other Plants


No one knows for sure when humans first consumed caffeine. Africa was the starting point for coffee, and probably fueled early man. Tea has its roots in Asia. Cacao, the source of chocolate, is native to Mesoamerica, while guarana and maté originated in South America. Kola nuts hail from Africa. Today, we get our caffeine from the same plants, though in different forms, with complex processes ranging from simple steeping to grinding, fermenting, and roasting. Before jumping  into energy … [Read more...]