Feeling hyped up and energized after a cup of your favorite latte? Don’t be fooled. Caffeine may stimulate adrenaline supply and prevent dopamine from getting reabsorbed into your system, leaving the feel-good chemical hanging around in your brain longer, but according to Forbes, caffeine, by itself, does not make you a “super productive, super fast, super talky jitter machine.” Instead, it impersonates a neurochemical called adenosine.
When you're awake, your adenosine tab increases and you pay your dues by going to sleep. But when you take in caffeine, which looks the same as adenosine to your brain, it binds to the adenosine receptors in the latter's stead. This then prevents your adenosine tab from building up and making you sleepy.
According to Smithsonian.com's Joseph Stromberg, without the molecule that usually induces exhaustion and promotes sleep (a.k.a adenosine), your natural stimulants run wild making you feel wide awake–at least for awhile. Sooner or later, however, you'll have to drink more caffeinated drinks to retain caffeine's effects. Still confused? Watch the three-minute video below.