what exactly is caffeine

what exactly is caffeine

What exactly is caffeine. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound and a central nervous system stimulant that can temporarily drive away sleepiness and restore energy. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks with caffeine ingredients are very popular. Therefore, caffeine is also the most commonly used psychotropic drug in the world. In North America, 90% of adults use caffeine every day. Many natural sources of caffeine also contain a variety of other xanthine alkaloids, including the cardiotonic theophylline and theobromine, as well as other substances such as tannins.

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

basic introduction

what exactly is caffeine

Other names: trimethylxanthine, caffeine, tea toxin, mateine, guarana factor, methyltheobromine

Molecular formula: C8H10N4O2


MDL: MFCD00005758[1]

Molar mass: 194.19 g mol−1

Appearance: odorless, white needle-like or powdery solid

CAS Number: [58-08-2]

Density and phase state: 1.2 g/cm³, solid

Solubility in water: slightly soluble

Other solvents: soluble in ethyl acetate, chloroform, pyrimidine, pyrrole, and tetrahydrofuran; soluble in alcohol and acetone; slightly soluble in petroleum ether, ether, and benzene

Melting point: 237 °C Boiling point: 178 °C (sublimation)

Acidity coefficient: (pKa) 10.4 (40 °C)

Main hazards: inhalation, swallowing and skin absorption can be fatal [1].

Flash point: N/A

RTECS number: EV6475000


what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

Caffeine: (Caffeine) is an alkaloid extracted from tea and coffee cherries. Moderate use can eliminate fatigue and excite nerves. It is clinically used to treat neurasthenia and coma recovery. However, high-dose or long-term use can also cause damage to the human body, especially it is also addictive. Once stopped, various withdrawal symptoms such as mental atrophy, drowsiness and weakness will appear. Although its addictiveness is weak, quitting Symptoms are not very serious.

However, when the amount of drug used is increasing due to drug tolerance, caffeine will not only act on the cerebral cortex but also directly excite the medulla oblongata, causing paroxysmal convulsions and skeletal tremors, and damage the liver, stomach, kidneys and other important internal organs. It can induce respiratory tract inflammation, breast tumors in women and other diseases, and even lead to low intelligence and limb deformities in the next generation of smokers. Therefore, it is also included in psychotropic drugs under national control. Abuse of caffeine usually comes in two forms: ingestion and injection, and its excitatory stimulating effects, toxic and side effects, symptoms, and drug dependence are similar to those of amphetamine. China has uncovered several cases where drug traffickers at home and abroad colluded with each other to smuggle caffeine out of the “Golden Triangle” area. At present, the legal production of caffeine in China exceeds the legal demand, and the flow of caffeine into illegal channels is more serious.

Health value

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

At present, it is known that the special components of caffeine have the following physiological reactions to the human body:

It can effectively resist free radicals that threaten our health. Free radicals are the main cause of many diseases (such as cardiomyopathy, arteriosclerosis, stroke, emphysema, Parkinson’s disease). Excessive free radicals will affect the body’s metabolism, destroy cells and affect organs and tissues.

Protect the function of the heart and blood vessels: Contains high-component polyphenol compounds, this type of compound is a powerful antioxidant, can delay the oxidation time of low-density lipoprotein up to three times, can dissolve blood clots and prevent the formation of thrombus; coffee also It can enhance vasoconstriction and avoid headaches caused by vasodilatation. In addition, a small amount of coffee can also enhance myocardial contractility, promote blood circulation, and achieve the effect of preventing cardiovascular diseases.

Refreshing and refreshing: It stimulates the central nervous system of the brain, prolongs the awake time of the brain, makes the thinking clear, sharp, and concentrates more attention, which can improve the efficiency of work and study.

◆ Anti-depression :

A small amount of caffeine can refresh people’s spirits, feel happy, and relieve depression. Weight control: Caffeine can increase the rate at which the body consumes calories. A study found that 100 mg of caffeine (about 1 cup of coffee) can speed up the breakdown of fat, increase the body’s metabolic rate by 3 to 4%, and increase heat energy Consumption of glutinous rice, drinking in moderation, has the effect of weight loss.

◆ Promote digestion :

Caffeine stimulates sympathetic nerves and increases gastric juice secretion. If consumed in moderation after meals, it will help digestion.

◆ Diuretic :

Coffee has a diuretic effect, which can increase urination and increase the number of toilet trips.

◆ Improve constipation :

Coffee can stimulate gastrointestinal hormones or peristaltic hormones and produce a laxative effect. It can be used as a quick laxative.

◆ Reduce the chance of bowel cancer or rectal cancer :

Coffee contains natural antioxidants.

◆ Analgesic :

When caffeine is used as a medicine, it can enhance the effect of certain analgesics.

◆ Enhance physical agility :

Caffeine also helps to lower the exercise threshold during exercise, increase physical agility, and enable athletes to create better results.

◆ Reduce the chance of getting gallstones :

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health pointed out that people who drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day have an average 40% less chance of getting gallstones than those who never drink. In addition, the tannins in coffee have astringent, hemostatic and deodorant effects.

Toxic effects

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

Caffeine can block adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenine nucleoside can slow down the activity of nerve cells when combined with its receptor. The two are combined during sleep. The caffeine molecule is like adenosine and can bind to the same receptor. But it does not promote a decrease in cell activity, on the contrary, it prevents adenosine from binding to its receptor. The result is increased activity of nerve cells, which secrete the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline leads to faster heartbeat, increased blood pressure, increased blood flow in the muscles, decreased blood flow in the skin and internal organs, and the liver releases glucose into the blood. In addition, caffeine and amino propyl benzene can increase the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.

Unlike other substances that stimulate the central nervous system and alcohol, caffeine has a relatively short effect. For most people, caffeine does not affect their concentration and other advanced intellectual functions, so caffeinated beverages are often consumed in the workplace.

Drinking caffeine for a long time can cause the body to become habituated to caffeine. If you stop using caffeine your body will be oversensitive to adenosine and your blood pressure will drop excessively, leading to headaches and other symptoms. Some recent studies seem to show that drinking caffeine can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, but the conclusions of this study have yet to be confirmed.

Too much caffeine can cause caffeine poisoning. The symptoms are irritability, nervousness, irritation, insomnia, flushing, polyuria, and digestive tract discomfort. Some people experience these symptoms when taking less than 250 mg daily. Over 1 gram per day can cause cramps, sudden changes in thought and language, unstable heartbeat, tachycardia, and psychomotor agitation. The symptoms of caffeine poisoning are similar to panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. 192 mg/kg of body weight, or for the average adult, 72 cups of coffee may cause half of the deaths.

There is currently no clear evidence that caffeine is associated with bone loss and osteoporosis. In a study related to cola and excluding other carbonated beverages, it was found that caffeine was not the cause of bone loss. The amount of phosphoric acid was directly related to osteoporosis in older women.

(what exactly is caffeine?)

Nature of coffee

what exactly is caffeine
what exactly is caffeine 6

Caffeine belongs to the alkaloid of methylxanthine. Pure caffeine is a white powder with a strong bitter taste. Its chemical formula is C8H10N4O2. Its chemical name is 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine or 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione. Molecular weight, 194.19

Physical properties

White powder or hexagonal prismatic crystals, melting point 238°, 178°, sublimation. 1g is dissolved in 46ml water, 5.5ml 80° water, 1.5ml boiling water, 66ml ethanol, 22ml 60° ethanol, 50ml acetone and 5.5ml chloroform. IRνmax cm -1: 3100, 2970, 1700, 1660, 1550, 1480, 1360, 1240, 1020, 980, 750, 610; UVλMeOHmax nm (ε): 272(8510); NMR (CDCl3) δ: 3.4, 3.6, 4.0, 7.6; MSm/e: 194 (100), 67(66), 109 (66), 55 (44), 82 (39), 42 (28), 40 (18), 41 (16).

Caffeine excites:

the central nervous system, so it can increase alertness, make people alert, have fast and clear thinking, increase concentration and maintain better physical condition. Finally enter the spinal cord and maintain a higher dose. In the body, the chemical reaction of caffeine is very complicated. The general mechanisms are as follows:


Caffeine is broken down in the liver to produce three primary metabolites: paraxanthine (84%), theobromine (12%), and theophylline (4%). Caffeine is absorbed by the stomach and small intestine within 45 minutes after ingestion. Fully absorbed. After being absorbed, it will be distributed in all organs of the body, and the transformation process conforms to the first-order reaction of chemical kinetics.

The half-life of caffeine, that is, the time it takes for the body to convert half of the caffeine ingested, varies greatly between individuals, mainly related to age, liver function, pregnancy or not, other drugs ingested at the same time, and caffeine in the liver The number of enzymes involved in metabolism is related. The half-life of caffeine in a healthy adult is about 3-4 hours. In women with oral contraceptives, it is extended to 5-10 hours, and in women who are pregnant, it is about 9-11 hours. When some individuals suffer from severe liver disease, caffeine will accumulate and the half-life will be extended to 96 hours [25]. The half-life of caffeine in infants or children may be longer than that in adults, and it may be as long as 30 hours in the body of a newborn baby. Certain other factors also shorten the half-life of caffeine, such as smoking.

The metabolism of caffeine occurs in the liver and is oxidized by the cytochrome oxidase P450 (especially 1A2 isoenzyme) enzyme system to form three different di methylxanthines, which are different for the body: the role of.

Pericynthion (1,7-dimethyl xanthine, 84%)-can speed up lipolysis, leading to an increase in the content of glycerol and free fatty acids in the plasma. Theobromine (12%)-can dilate blood vessels and increase urine output. Theobromine is also the main alkaloid in cocoa beans and is also present in chocolate. Theophylline (4%)-soothes bronchial smooth muscle and is used to treat asthma. The dose used for treatment is much greater than the dose produced by caffeine metabolism. These compounds are further metabolized and eventually excreted from the body through urine.

Moderate intake

How much average caffeine good for per day
what exactly is caffeine?

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and a stimulant of metabolism. Caffeine is used not only as a drink but also as a medicine, its effects are to refresh and relieve fatigue. The exact dose of caffeine that everyone needs to produce an effect is not the same, and it mainly depends on body size and caffeine tolerance. Caffeine can begin to work in the body in less than an hour. For a moderate dose of caffeine, the effect disappears in 3 to 4 hours. Consumption of caffeine does not reduce the required sleep time, it can only temporarily reduce the feeling of sleepiness.

Because of these effects, caffeine is a function enhancer: it improves the ability of the brain and body. A study in 1979 showed that, compared with the control group, athletes after taking caffeine increased their performance in long-distance cycling events by 7%. Other studies have yielded more significant results: an experiment with trained runners showed that after a dose of 9 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, the athlete’s straight-line running durability increased by 44%, and the circular running durability increased 55%. Such a significant improvement is not an isolated accident. Some follow-up studies have also obtained similar results. Another study showed that after ingesting 5.5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, the duration of cycling events can be increased by 29%.

Caffeine is sometimes mixed with other drugs to increase their effectiveness. Caffeine can increase the efficacy of headache-reducing drugs by 40%, and can make the body absorb these drugs faster and shorten the time they take effect. Therefore, many over-the-counter headache medicines contain caffeine. Caffeine is also used with ergotamine to treat migraines and cluster headaches. It can also overcome the sleepiness caused by antihistamines.

Breathing problems in premature babies are sometimes treated with caffeine citrate. After using caffeine citrate therapy, the bronchial dysplasia of premature babies was significantly reduced. The only disadvantage of this therapy is the temporary slower weight gain during the treatment. Caffeine citrate is only available through prescription in many countries.

For humans, caffeine is safe, but caffeine is indeed toxic to certain animals, such as dogs, horses and parrots, because the liver of these animals is much weaker than humans in breaking down caffeine. Caffeine has a significant effect on spiders, much higher than other drugs.


Barista at work in a coffee shop. Preparation service concept


what exactly is caffeine

With long-term intake, large doses of caffeine is a drug that can cause “caffeine poisoning.” Caffeine poisoning includes addiction and a series of physical and psychological adverse reactions, such as nervousness, irritability, anxiety, tremors, muscle twitches (hyperreflexia), insomnia and heart palpitations (most people take caffeine because of its stimulating effects, many Students take caffeine pills when they are dealing with exams and those on night shifts.

Under the strict definition of addiction, addiction is only when the dosage is accumulated. It is more appropriate to describe caffeine dependence. However, under a widely accepted definition, all chronic and difficult behaviors are called addiction. So it can also be described as caffeine addiction. In addition, because caffeine can increase stomach acid, continuous high-dose intake can cause peptic ulcer, erosive esophagitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

However, because both normal coffee and decaffeinated coffee will stimulate the gastric mucosa and increase gastric acid secretion, caffeine may not be the only component of coffee. The four caffeine-induced mental disorders verified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) include caffeine hyper-invigoration, caffeine anxiety, caffeine sleep disorders, and other caffeine-related disorders.

Caffeine overexcitement

what exactly is caffeine

A sharp excess of caffeine, usually more than 250 mg (equivalent to 2-3 cups of brewed coffee), can cause excessive central nervous system excitement. Symptoms of caffeine hyperexcitability include: irritability, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushing, increased urine, gastrointestinal disturbances, muscle twitches, slow thinking, irregular or fast heartbeat, and restlessness.

Ingesting extremely large doses of caffeine can cause death. For laboratory mice, the 50% lethal dose of caffeine is 192 mg per kilogram of body weight. The half-lethal dose of caffeine depends on body weight and personal sensitivity. It is about 150 to 200 mg per kilogram of body weight. It is about 140 to 180 cups of coffee for an average adult in a limited period of time . The time depends on the biological half-life. Although it is almost impossible to cause death from drinking regular coffee, there have been reports of death due to excessive consumption of caffeine pills.

The treatment of excessive caffeine is usually auxiliary, that is, the individual symptoms are treated accordingly. However, if the patient’s serum caffeine concentration is too high, it is possible to adopt methods such as peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis and hemofiltration.

Caffeine anxiety and sleep disorders

what exactly is caffeine

Long-term excessive intake of caffeine can cause a series of mental disorders. Two of which have been verified by the American Psychiatric Association are Caffeine Anxiety Disorder and Caffeine Sleep Disorder.

Caffeine sleep disorder refers to an individual’s regular intake of high doses of caffeine caused his or her sleep disorder, and can be found by clinical diagnosis.

For some individuals, the anxiety caused by large doses of coffee is enough to be detected by clinical diagnosis. Caffeine anxiety disorder can appear in different forms, general anxiety disorders, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even phobia. Because these symptoms are easily confused with basic neurological disorders, such as panic disorder, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia, some medical workers believe that some people who consume excessive amounts of caffeine are misdiagnosed and given unnecessary treatment. They believe that caffeine-induced mental illness can be easily controlled by cutting off the source of caffeine. A survey conducted by the British Journal of Addiction showed that, although rarely diagnosed, chronic caffeine poisoning affects at least one-tenth of the total population.

Coffee is currently the longest-used but most misunderstood beverage by humans. Many latest research reports show that in many aspects, caffeine does not harm the human body as previously imagined. On the contrary, some ingredients in coffee are harmful to the human body. Many health benefits are slowly being discovered by scientists.

Historical origin

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

As early as the Stone Age, humans have begun to use caffeine. Early people found that chewing the seeds, bark or leaves of certain plants had the effect of reducing fatigue and refreshing. It was not until many years later that people discovered that using hot water to soak these plants can increase the effectiveness of caffeine. Many cultures have myths about the discovery of these plants by people in ancient times.

Caffeine According to an ancient Mongolian mythology, the Chinese emperor Shennong about 3000 BC, by chance, discovered that when some leaves floated into boiling water, it would produce an aromatic and refreshing drink. The name of Shennong is also mentioned in Lu Yu’s Tea Classic, an ancient book about tea.

(what exactly is caffeine)

The early history of coffee is very hazy, but a widely circulated myth allows us to go back to Ethiopia, the birthplace of Arabic coffee. According to this myth, a shepherd named Kadi discovered that when goats eat the berries on the coffee bush, they become excited and lose sleep at night. The goats will continue to eat the berries again and experience the same vitality. Through the world. The earliest written record of coffee may be Bunchum by Persian physician al-Razi in the 9th century. In 1587, Malaye Jaziri compiled a book that traced the history and legality of coffee, called “Umdat al safwa fi hill al-qahwa”.

In this book, Jaziri records that Jamal-al-Din al-Dhabhani, the head of Islam in Aden, was the first to drink coffee in 1454. After the 15th century, Sufi Muslims in Yemen began to drink coffee regularly. Keep awake when praying. At the end of the 16th century, European residents in Egypt recorded the use of coffee. Around this time, coffee began to be widely used in the Near East. Coffee, the most popular beverage, spread to Europe in the 17th century and was originally called Arabic wine. During this time, coffee shops began to increase, the first coffee shops were in Constantinople and Venice. In the UK, the first coffee shop opened in 1652, in St. Michael’s Lane, Cornhill Street, London. Soon coffee became popular in Western Europe and played an important role in social communication in the 17th and 18th centuries.

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

Just like coffee berries and tea, kola nuts have very ancient origins. Many civilizations in West Africa rejuvenate and relieve hunger by chewing kola nuts individually or in groups. In 1911, when the U.S. government confiscated 40 large barrels and 20 small barrels of Coca-Cola, Coke became the first recorded health panic. On March 13 of that year, the U.S. government started the U.S. treatment of 40 large barrels and 20 small barrels of Coca-Cola, hoping to force Coca-Cola to remove caffeine from its formula through exaggerated propaganda. “Nightly absurd behavior violates college rules and women’s etiquette, and is even immoral.” Although the judge finally supported Coca-Cola, two bills aimed at amending the Pure Food and Drug Act were submitted to the House of Representatives in 1912 to add caffeine. The list of “addictive” and “harmful” substances must be listed on the product label.

The earliest evidence of the use of cocoa is the residue found in the pot from the ancient Mayan civilization in the 8th century BC. In the new world, chocolate is used in a bitter and spicy drink called Xocoatl, often accompanied by vanilla, chili and rouge. Xocoatl is widely regarded as anti-fatigue, which may be attributed to the theobromine and caffeine. Chocolate was a luxury in Central America before Columbus discovered the American continent, and cocoa beans were also used as currency.

what exactly is caffeine?
what exactly is caffeine?

Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spanish in 1700, who also introduced cocoa trees to the West Indies and the Philippines. They are used in alchemy and are called black beans.

In 1819, German chemist Friedrich Ferdinand Runge isolated pure caffeine for the first time. According to a legend, he did so by following Goethe’s orders.

Now, the annual international sales of caffeine has reached 120,000 tons, which is equivalent to the consumption of one coffee drink per person every day, which also makes it the most popular spiritual-influencing substance in the world. In North America, 90% of adults consume a certain amount of caffeine every day.

13 good reasons to drink more coffee

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