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  • How much coffee is too much coffee?

  • Legend holds that "Kaffa", or coffee, was discovered in western Ethiopia by a man who noticed that his goats were more active after eating coffee beans.

  • Today, caffeine is the most widely-used brain stimulant in the world.

  • Caffeine works by blocking another chemical in your brain called adenosine from bonding to receptors on your neurons.

  • Adenosine is an inhibitor that keeps many brain regions in check, including one called the reticular activating system, which basically amplifies brain activity.

  • When adenosine is blocked, this region goes into overdrive, sending a wake-up call to the rest of your brain.

  • So, actually, coffee doesn't stimulate your brain - it just suppresses the part that makes you drowsy!

  • Is caffeine addictive? Some scientists think so.

  • But it's not as bad as other drugs, because it doesn't strongly affect the dopamine pathways related to addiction.

  • Your brain does learn to balance the caffeine, though, which is why stopping cold can be a real headache.

  • And while the equivalent of 100 cups of coffee can kill you, studies have found that in moderation it may help protect against Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease.

  • So perhaps our craving for coffee isn't all that BAAHHHD.

How much coffee is too much coffee?

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