"Coffee, for those as addicted as I am, is the key to the day."

(Mahmoud Darwish)

With the advent of Ramadan, coffee lovers begin to say goodbye to their beloved morning weather, unlike any other habit. In the early days, we miss that warm cup at the beginning of the day, and we start to feel some headaches or poor concentration, maybe it is a good opportunity to look at the effect of the drink you love in your whole life, and learn what happens to you when you stop taking it, and will you have to return to that habit daily and adhere to it or do you have to consider the month of Ramadan an opportunity to break free of it?

The cup that changed the face of the earth

Surprisingly, your favorite drink is relatively recent, yet humans' knowledge of caffeine has been a milestone that has changed a lot in our habits and even in the way we do business. By the fifteenth century, coffee first appeared (some accounts say that its cultivation began in the tenth century) in East African farms and moved to the Arabian Peninsula, to be eaten by Sufis in Yemen to help them perform their religious rites without giving in to sleep, after the effect of the new drink on the ability to concentrate. There are many stories about where coffee first appeared, and how people were able to roast it to acquire a distinctive taste, but it has been moving slowly between groups of society in different countries.

After almost a century, cafes appeared to be part of Arab and Turkish societies, and in 1629 the first cafes appeared in Europe, and after a few decades there were thousands of cafes in London, so that there would be one café for every 200 Londoners, and cafes generally have a major role in society, politics, culture and arts, and each café gained its own spirit and its distinguished patrons, and with different interests and diversity, everyone was wrapping around coffee. (1)

The influence of cafes and their role in society was significant, but it's another story, what concerns us here is the role caffeine played in human thinking and abilities. As it moved between countries, caffeine freed humans from the body's natural rhythms that were often associated with sunlight, and over time our minds could wake up no matter how tired, no matter what the hour, so that we could work even if we didn't get enough rest.

Caffeine was thus present and influential in the Age of Reason and Enlightenment, and played an important role in the emergence of capitalism. Our ability to stay alert and alert for longer has greatly neutralized the effect of burnout, freeing us from circadian rhythm, and with the advent of artificial light as well, there are no limits to working times, but what exactly does caffeine do to our brains? And why do we relate to it in this way? (2)

What a cup of coffee does to you

This effect usually begins as soon as you finish the last sip in your cup, and within 30-60 minutes it reaches its peak, caffeine primarily activates the central nervous system by blocking the action of adenosine, the molecule that gradually builds up in the brain throughout the day to prepare our bodies to rest by the end of the day. Caffeine prevents adenosine from functioning, so we feel energized and alert, which has the effect of enhancing athletic performance, improving energy levels, and reducing fatigue and drowsiness. (3) (4)

Besides, adrenaline levels (the hormone naturally secreted by the adrenal glands in the face of our feelings of stress) rise, the activity of neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline increases, so heart rate and blood pressure rise, stimulating the brain, increasing alertness, improving our ability to concentrate, and improving cognitive function. (5)

Caffeine silences our empty stomach sometimes, and by mixing it with sugar, it gives us the calories necessary to perform this task, and so it is possible to work for longer hours and in conditions that are not the best even when suffering from hunger, the tonic effect of a cup of coffee lasts only about 4-6 hours, and often we want to repeat this effect, so we drink several cups of coffee throughout the day in order to obtain the same effect, and so our consumption of caffeine rises without calculation. (6) (7)

But no matter how many cups of coffee you drink, the caffeine eventually burns out and adenosine floods the body's receptors and we suddenly feel so tired that it seems like it's time to pay off the energy debt that caffeine has given us, but fortunately, it's not just energy that's what we're looking for with coffee, there's a feeling of happiness that accompanies us as the smell of coffee rises from the hot cup. (8)

"People differ in the secret of coffee and their opinions differ: smell, color, taste, texture, mixture, cardamom, degree of roasting, the shape of the cup, and other qualities, but I see that the timing, the greatest thing about coffee is timing, to find it in your hand as soon as you wish it, one of the most beautiful elegances of living is that moment when a small luxury turns into a necessity."

(Mourid Barghouti)

Well, there's still more. Preventing the accumulation of adenosine not only gives us a sense of alertness, but it improves mood and lowers the risk of depression. In a 2011 study published in Web of Science and conducted extensively on nearly fifty thousand American women, it was found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of depression compared to women who drank little or no coffee. (9)

The average time of the effect of caffeine in the body is from 3 to 5 hours, and this time varies according to each person so that some do not take more than one hour, while some need 9 hours for the effects of caffeine to disappear in their body, whatever the number of hours, we find ourselves in the morning in dire need of the usual cup of coffee, with all the effects it carries for us, and here lies the euphoria that we feel in the company of the morning cup more than others; One of the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, which is a headache, some fatigue and difficulty concentrating, seems to be the best solution to overcome a problem created by caffeine itself only. (10) (11)

Caffeine withdrawal

"The smell of coffee to hold together, the smell of coffee to stand on my feet, to turn from creepy to being, to stop my share of this dawn on its feet, to go together and this day to the street in search of another place."

(Mahmoud Darwish)

When the body relies on caffeine, abrupt cessation can cause withdrawal symptoms that usually begin 12-24 hours after you stop consuming caffeine, and "caffeine withdrawal" is a well-known medical diagnosis that affects those who consume caffeine regularly. (12)

The most prominent symptom of caffeine withdrawal is headache, caffeine causes the blood vessels in the brain to contract and thus slow down blood flow, and when we reduce or stop taking it, it allows blood vessels to expand and increase blood flow to the brain, this sudden change is what causes headaches that vary in length and intensity between individuals, until the brain adapts to the increase in blood flow, so the headache stops. (13)

Fatigue is the second symptom of caffeine withdrawal, as our dependence on coffee daily to get a boost of energy by disrupting the work of adenosine has the opposite effect when you stop it, causing drowsiness and fatigue, often our dependence on coffee to rejuvenate every few hours, and excessive caffeine intake, worsens withdrawal symptoms. (14)

The magic cup that we turn to to help us focus, when studying or when starting work, actually does the job perfectly; increases adrenaline levels, enhances the activity of neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, and stimulates the brain, but stopping it requires a great effort from the body to work alone, and so we have difficulty concentrating. (15)

Stopping caffeine also affects our mood, writing in the Guardian that Michael Pollan says of the first day of his caffeine cessation experience: "I feel like a blunt pencil." (16)

Think about your relationship with coffee

Despite its benefits, increasing the dose of caffeine may negatively affect our abilities, increased caffeine consumption can be observed through symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, feeling anxious and nervous, headache, stomach pain, irritability and muscle twitching, and its effect on sleep is one of the most important symptoms that should be paid attention to, as its impact extends long in general health. (17)

In the book "Why do we sleep?" , English neuroscientist at the University of California Matthew Walker devoted a lot of space to alert to this danger caused by our caffeine dependence, which is that we do not get enough hours of sleep, Walker warns that lack of sleep may be a major factor in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer's, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart failure, depression, anxiety, suicide and obesity, and for this reason he considers sleep more important perhaps even than good food and a slim body, as hours cannot be compensated He explains that even with enough hours of sleep, you should think that some amount of caffeine may be present in the blood, affecting sleep quality. (18)

For these reasons, Ramadan month may be a good opportunity to reconsider our relationship with caffeine, and whether the dose we take is appropriate so that we can get the benefits of this drink without its negative impact on us. If you're drinking too much caffeine, it's probably time to consider gradually reducing your portion.

For healthy adults, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says 400 milligrams a day — about 4 or 5 cups of coffee — is generally not associated with serious adverse effects. However, there is considerable variation in people's sensitivity to the effects of caffeine and how quickly it affects the body and how well the body processes it.

You can avoid or reduce the severity of the annoying symptoms of caffeine interruption when you gradually stop drinking coffee before the holy month, for the purpose of reducing the daily amount of caffeine, you can also mix regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee to reduce dependence on it slowly, and drinking enough water is crucial when stopping caffeine, as dehydration may exacerbate withdrawal symptoms such as headache and fatigue.

You will have to get enough sleep to face fatigue, so try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, when you stop taking caffeine the body will have to work without the help it is used to, look here for sources of energy increase naturally, and you can combine natural sources of energy such as exercise and nutrient-rich foods with stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing for best results. (19)



  • The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?
  • Previous source
  • Absolutamente Todo Lo Que Tienes Que Saber Sobre El Café (Preguntas Y Respuestas)/
  • The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?
  • 8 Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal
  • The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?
  • Absolutamente Todo Lo Que Tienes Que Saber Sobre El Café (Preguntas Y Respuestas)
  • The invisible addiction: is it time to give up caffeine?
  • Coffee, Caffeine, and Risk of Depression Among Women
  • Absolutamente Todo Lo Que Tienes Que Saber Sobre El Café (Preguntas Y Respuestas)
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  • 8 Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal
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  • Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
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