If you can’t function until you’ve had your coffee in the morning, you’ll appreciate how beneficial caffeine can be.
But did you know that amongst its many effects, caffeine also has an impact on adrenaline?
Most of us associate adrenaline with a high-octane environment, but it’s a substance our body produces every day. And you may not be aware that caffeine and adrenaline yield similar effects on gamblers.
So when you’re heading to the coffee machine for your favourite blend, you could be giving your performance a boost too. Here’s a look at how coffee and adrenaline influence the body, and what that means for high-stress activities.
What is Adrenaline?
It is a hormone that’s produced naturally by the body. Often described as the “fight or flight” response, it’s a survival hormone that helps us out in dangerous situations.
However, although adrenaline is vital when we’re facing danger, it’s also produced when we experience a whole range of normal emotions, including excitement, anger and stress. This means that even if you’re not in a life or death situation, your body is often flooded with adrenaline as a consequence of your emotions.
What Does Caffeine Do?
Caffeine is found in coffee in abundance and is easily processed by the body. Lots of people swear by a cup in the morning to give them a shot of energy or wake them up, and they’re not wrong. The science shows that caffeine has a stimulating effect on the body.
It achieves this in many different ways. It triggers the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter which sharpens your brain and makes you feel good. Crucially, it also sets off a chemical reaction that causes the release of adrenaline.
This means by drinking caffeine, you also produce adrenaline, giving your body a double shot of energy and focus.
How Coffee and Adrenaline Help
If you’re in a situation where you need mental clarity and can’t afford to fade, coffee is the answer. If you’re already feeling stressed or excited, your body will be bathed in adrenaline; coffee provides extra clarity while boosting performance.
When combined, coffee and adrenaline are a powerful force which can help you to stay feeling alert for up to three hours. If you’re in the middle of a tense session, it can be useful to know there’s a way to maintain your mental focus throughout.
The dopamine produced by the caffeine in the coffee gives you more extraordinary brainpower, allowing you to concentrate and process information quickly. The motivation and high mood that dopamine brings also help with this.
Adrenaline provides sheer energy, giving you the stamina to keep going. It affects a range of bodily functions too, sharpening your vision, slightly raising your heart rate and opening your lungs. More efficient respiration is also linked to higher energy levels and improved performance in stressful situations.
Compare the Results
Next time you’re about to enter an exciting activity, have a cup of your favourite coffee and monitor the results. You might be surprised at how much extra vigour you have and how it’s easier to focus with minimal effort. Just remember to check that the coffee isn’t caffeine-free before you start!