Here in this open -air sanctuary of societal approval, we observe or partake in the mass consumption of a certain readily available psychostimulant. Our daily routines feature the regular infusion and dissolution of certain botanicals into hot water, giving bitter brews that one may choose to sweeten (naturally or otherwise). When one consumes the aromatic tea of Southwest China/ cocoa of Central America/ coffee of Northeast Africa, one is in fact casually taking a non-prescription drug: a xanthine called caffeine. So it may pay for us to know something of caffeine’s pharmacodynamics. After absorbing thru the small intestine, flowing in the blood s t r e a m and crossing the blood---------------------brain barrier, the C
Lmolecules of caffeine bind to adenosine receptors in the brain. This process, known as antagonism, prevents adenosine (an endogenous protein) from locking into its binding sites and eliciting its natural effect – CNS depression. Thus, at approximately an hour post-consumption, the caffeine reaches sufficiently high blood plasma concentrations to effectively fight fatigue and focus the faculties. We can take a pharmacological view of coffee/cocoa/tea as, essentially, just a vehicle for a popular chemical – that dependable xanthine that gives a welcome buzz. We’re as free as cathemeral owls to reap the benefits of one of the few legally non-prescription performance-enhancing drugs.