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How Coffee Affects Us in 15 Minutes, 30 Minutes, and 1 Hour, and What Is Caffeine Release?


"I need a sip of coffee urgently!" - We say it when we feel that there is no strength left. And indeed, it is worth drinking a cup of espresso, because after 15 minutes consciousness clears and drowsiness subsides ... but not for long. What happens to the body after a dose of caffeine, and why is sometimes joy suddenly replaced by greater lethargy?


What happens when we drink coffee?

After 15-20 minutes: caffeine enters the bloodstream, blocks adenosine receptors responsible for fatigue, the body starts internal reserves.

After 30-40 minutes: norepinephrine is produced, we feel a surge of strength, we decide easily.

After 1-2 hours: caffeine peaks, serotonin and dopamine levels rise, heart rate increases, blood pressure rises.

After 2-3 hours: the refreshing effect gradually disappears, we begin to experience fatigue again.


The rate of action of caffeine depends on the characteristics of each individual organism: individual alkaloid tolerance, metabolic rate, body weight, age.

And now - the details!

Of course, we owe the invigorating effect to caffeine: scientifically - to a purine alkaloid, but in fact - to a psychostimulant.

But coffee is drunk just for the sake of being good! And also - for vitality, concentration and tone. Meanwhile, studies have recently been published showing that caffeine stimulates thinking: it is responsible for finding quick solutions in difficult situations.

Adenosine vs coffee: who wins?

Our extraordinarily intelligent body produces a very useful substance - adenosine, which is necessary so that we do not overheat our “processor” brain and do not overload the central nervous system in a critical state. During wakefulness (especially if we are busy with intense mental or, on the contrary, intense physical work), the concentration of adenosine increases, and when it is too much, we feel tired and sleepy.

Nature is designed so that a person who feels tired does not invent a bicycle, but takes a nap. So what are we modern humans doing? Of course, we resort to stimulants. And caffeine is one of them.


Caffeine molecules easily penetrate the blood-brain barrier that separates the blood flow from the brain and, similar in structure to adenosine, bind to adenosine receptors, but do not activate them, but rather block them, thereby provoking. Release of norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter of active alertness, into the blood and making quick decisions.

In addition, caffeine stimulates the metabolism of dopamine, the joy hormone, so coffee drinks have the ability to temporarily elevate mood (and cause psychological addiction down the road). In essence, caffeine "hacks" our system, for example, under stress, forcing the release of stored energy.


Such bursts of energy, altered by a breakdown, are called caffeine surges.

Caffeine has a half-life of 4-6 hours, but as soon as it starts to break down (i.e. after about 2 hours), we feel a drop in vitality, so we rush to the coffee machine. However, the third cup of your favorite beverage will no longer have the same effect as the first, we will develop resistance to caffeine and we will see a host of side effects in the form of sleep disturbances, nervous overstimulation, anxiety attacks and tachycardia. Due to CNS overload. In addition, after skipping the next dose of caffeine, adenosine will finally occupy all the released receptors (and, as we remember, there are many more) - and at least we will feel very tired, as if we had not slept. one day.

coffee from around the world

So why don't you drink coffee now?

Coffee is helpful and really helps focus. It is not harmful to drink coffee in the following cases:

But don't overdo it!

Alternative ways to cheer up

The ideal way out is caffeine sleep. Scientists say a cup of coffee and the next half-hour nap gives you energy for the rest of the day. Caffeine will begin to act no earlier than in 15-30 minutes. During this time, you only have time to take a nap, reducing the adenosine level naturally - as nature intended. And then the caffeine in all its life-giving effects will open. By the way, according to an experiment among drivers, drinking coffee after a daytime nap makes you feel much better than bright light and cold washing.

If coffee isn't refreshing, go for green tea or matcha! These drinks also contain a lot of caffeine, but they are gentle, delicate and act much longer. For example, the refreshing effect of matcha tea lasts for 4-6 hours, and there is no caffeine release in your body.

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