Neuroscientist Explains What Coffee Does To Your Brain – Should We Really Be Drinking It?

In many cultures around the world, coffee is consumed daily. For many people it is their first thought and what gets them out of bed in the morning, for others it’s an excuse to get together with friends or family and socialize. What we often fail to realize is that coffee, or more specifically caffeine, is a drug. In reality it is a highly addictive stimulant, which is in the same category of cocaine and methamphetamine. As with any drugs, if abused it can have some consequences.

Caffeine is actually the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world – that’s right, psychoactive. The majority of people who drink coffee are addicted, and if for some reason coffee is not available, withdrawal symptoms will occur, generally the symptoms include a foggy head and a headache that don’t seem to go away until you’ve had your fix. If you ever wondered what exactly caffeine is doing to your brain, then look no further.

A video  hosted by a Neuroscience Ph.D candidate who was high on caffeine explains exactly what is going on in our bodies and our brains when we have that first cup, and what happens when we have too much.

Caffeine triggers our fight or flight response mechanism which can raise cortisol, this is more commonly known as the stress hormone. So, if you feel particularly stressed out during the day, perhaps a detox from this drug will help. It is definitely worth a shot as many of us know how detrimental stress can be to our overall health and well-being.

So, this is the scientific explanation of what happens to your brain on caffeine, but it doesn’t leave us with much insight as to whether or not we should or should not be consuming it. Caffeine has been consumed for thousands of years and there is a ton of research to back up its purported health benefits, but there is also a lot of research that shows it is not ideal for us to consume. As mentioned in the video, caffeine can apparently protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

To put it quite simply, having your body rely on any sort of stimulant in order to feel awake or energized in the morning probably points to some bigger issues in regards to your health. Coffee serves as a great mask or escape from our tiredness or foggy heads in the morning and some studies even suggest that it is not actually caffeine that is making us feel alert in the morning, but it is the caffeine that is taking us out of withdrawal mode in the morning from the previous day. So your morning coffee is actually just your next fix to help you overcome the withdrawal cycles which can easily become a routine.

Is There A Coffee Conspiracy?

Of course, let’s face it, there is a conspiracy behind almost everything that is heavily pushed and promoted in our society. Most people are thinking: “Just let me have my morning cup of coffee!” Such a large percentage of people are entirely addicted to the same stimulant, and we often feel like we need it. This can’t be normal, it’s not like our bodies are hard wired to need caffeine to function. 

But perhaps the caffeine just does a great job of covering up our current state of health. Without coffee we may feel very drained and tired, coffee provides a short term fix for that, so we are essentially relying on coffee to treat the symptom, but not get to the root cause of the issue, which is the same as any other drug. If you feel like you’re fine drinking coffee, see how long you can go without it and how you actually feel without a stimulant in the morning. Sometimes we don’t want to know, but knowledge is power and awareness leads to change and if we could wake up in the morning and feel refreshed and energized, ready to take on the day without the use of stimulants, wouldn’t we do it? 
The choice is yours! 


June 23, 2018 

Also available in: Français

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