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Coffee: does it really perk you up – or staves off feeling drowsy?

Who hasn’t woken in the morning and first thing switch on the kettle and make your first cup of coffee of the day. Your aim is to perk yourself up, wake up and face another busy day, right? Well, actually no. New research has been published that kind of puts pay to the idea that coffee can actually perk you up.

According to molecular nutritionist Dr Emma Beckett of the University of Newcastle, what coffee actually does it stave off the feelings of drowsiness by stealing some energy from your body instead of giving you that extra boost associated with drinking coffee.

She explained that caffeine keeps away drowsiness by temporarily blocking a chemical called adenosine. This chemical helps to regulate our sleep and wake cycle. Eventually adenosine binds to its receptor – part of the cell that receives signals – which tells the cells to slow down, making us feel drowsy and sleepy. Caffeine can help us feel awake by binding to the adenosine receptor and preventing the chemical from triggering the sleepy feelings.

However, the chemical builds up in the system and the only real solution to get the body back in balance is the tried and tested – and proven practice…get some good sleep.

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