The Love Chemicals of Chocolate: Caffeine

Caffeine is in the top three mind altering drugs, with alcohol and nicotine. Like with alcohol, different people have different tolerance levels for caffeine. It is easily absorbed and affects the body almost instantly, producing an effect that lasts up to eight hours.

The influence of caffeine is widely felt, from sleep disturbance to raising the heart rate (including breathing, sweating and nervous response) and disturbed digestion.

The mood altering effect is achieved in two ways. Caffeine intensifies our mental activity by stimulating the cortex. This isn’t good if you’re in a nervous state but its definitely wakes up the tired and weary.

Secondly, it stimulates the adrenal hormones, which releases stored glucose into the blood stream, and creates a buzz, that is quickly induced but short lived.

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