For many people, drinking coffee is a morning ritual they can’t live without. But does sipping the hot brew really give you more energy?
The energy surge you experience is all thanks to the effect of caffeine absorbing into your bloodstream and travelling to your brain. Your brain activity is controlled by neurotransmitters, which are a type of chemical that can either excite or quieten your brain cells. Consuming caffeine blocks the quieting effects of the neurotransmitters, resulting in the stimulant effect you feel.
But don’t be fooled, this effect is brain stimulation not physical energy. So, when people say they feel more mentally alert after a coffee, this is technically true. The stimulatory effects of caffeine on your brain gives you a perception of increased energy because of the increased brain activity, but this is not real energy. Calories measure the energy-generating capacity of food and drinks, and in black coffee there are around 2-calories. Simply speaking, coffee does not have enough calories to energise your cells and produce actual energy.
Everyone will feel the effects of coffee differently depending on their metabolism, weight and caffeine tolerance. Typically, people will feel the pick-me-up from caffeine within 5-10 minutes of consumption, with the effects lasting as long as 12 hours. But watch out, caffeine has been proven to have addictive qualities.
Coffee has other effects on brain function including mood, reaction times, memory and general mental function. House Call Doctor recommends keeping caffeine doses small, around 1 to 2 cups per day, and consuming it as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Too much caffeine can have the opposite effect of small doses leaving us feeling on edge or unfocused, and in some cases, anxious.