What Is Caffeine Structure?

Caffeine Structure: Whether it’s a morning cup of java, a cola with a value meal, an energy drink to beat the afternoon slump, energy pills to make it through finals week, or a chocolate bar to relieve a stressful day, most of us have used the drug caffeine at some time during our lives. Yes, caffeine is a drug. A drug is a chemical substance that has a biological effect, and caffeine, while naturally occurring, does have an effect on the body; it can even cause dependency, and for some, there are even withdrawal symptoms. Caffeine is a stimulant and is considered psychotropic as it also contains mood altering properties.

Caffeine is one of the most widely used legal drugs in the world, but even if you have a three latte a day coffee habit you may not understand exactly what caffeine is. Caffeine is derived from a natural insecticide found in over 60 plants. It is found in coffee beans, tea leaves, yerba mate, guarana berries, kola nuts (used in colas), and cacao pods (used to make chocolate), but can also be synthesized in chemical labs to add to food or drugs. Caffeine contains methylxanthines, a molecular compound derivative of xanthine. So what is xanthine? It is a high-protein purine base found in animal or plant tissues.

What Is Caffeine Structure?

Molecules found in coffee beans. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is sometimes called guaranine when found in guarana, mateine when found in mate, and theine when found in tea.

Caffeine (1,3,7 trimethylxanthine) is not acidic by itself in its freebase form it is an alkaloid which behaves as a base, although it can be ionic or non-ionic. Resonance or mesomerism allow resonance structures to form due to delocalized electrons within the compound, because of this caffeine can be a zwitterion.

Caffeine is neurotoxin alkaloid. … Caffeine settles into the adenosine receptors in the surface of neurons and in doing so, prevents adenosine itself from getting in there. Therefore no receptor activation can occur and the effect is just the opposite.

Structure Of Caffeine

Caffeine’s effects are milder than other stimulants, such as amphetamines and cocaine, but it does influence the same channels in the brain. This effect on the brain is one of the reasons caffeine is addictive. In fact, caffeine actually changes brain chemistry, increases dopamine levels, and causes blood vessels in the brain to constrict. By releasing adrenaline, you feel a boost of energy and alertness; however, once the effects wear off, feelings of fatigue and irritability may increase.

Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, muscles, and the centers that control blood pressure. Caffeine can raise blood pressure, but may not have this effect in people who use it regularly. For some, caffeine can increase urine flow or even induce diarrhea. Like most drugs, the effects of caffeine will vary from person to person and a person’s tolerance to caffeine can increase over time.

Caffeine modelCaffeine Function

Caffeine is structurally similar to adenosine, found in our brains. Both molecules are water and fat soluble so they easily cross the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, adenosine protects us by slowing nerve cell activity. Due to its similar structure, caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors. Caffeine therefore, not only blocks adenosine’s ability to slow nerve activity, but it increases nerve activity, leaving us stimulated, more alert, energetic, and occasionally with coffee jitters.

Chemical structures of caffeine and adenosine
                                                           Figure 1. Chemical structures of caffeine and adenosine

Caffeine Molecular Structure

Caffeine belongs to the family of heterocyclic compounds known as purines. It has the systematic name 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione; it is also known as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, and 1,3,7-trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine. Caffeine can be classified as an alkaloid , a term used for substances produced as end products of nitrogen metabolism in some plants. The chemical formula is C 10 . Caffeine has a molar mass of 194.19 grams (6.85 ounces). It is soluble in water and in many organic solvents, and it appears in pure form as white crystals. Caffeine can be prepared by extraction from natural sources or by synthesis from uric acid.

More than sixty plants, including those that give us coffee, tea, cola, and cacao, produce caffeine from the purine xanthine. Whereas caffeine is a natural constituent in coffee, tea, chocolate, and some cola drinks, it is added to consumer products such as soft drinks, diet pills, and analgesics . Caffeine is said to be the most widely used drug in the world, and more than 100 million people in the United States consume caffeine each day. It has pharmacological uses: as a cardiac and respiratory stimulant and as an agent that promotes kidney diuresis. A therapeutic dose of caffeine is about the same as the amount found in an average cup of coffee, between 100 and 200 milligrams (0.0071 ounces). Decaffeinated coffee can be prepared through extraction with a solvent (such as methylene chloride), water extraction, or steam extraction.

Caffeine enters the bloodstream about ten minutes after its ingestion and stays in the body for up to twelve hours. Like other alkaloids, caffeine has powerful physiological effects on humans and animals. It stimulates heart muscle and relaxes certain structures that contain smooth muscle, including the coronary arteries and the bronchi. It is a diuretic. Theophylline and theobromine, two other plant alkaloid derivatives of xanthine, have physiological effects similar to those of caffeine.

Caffeine acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system (CNS) through several proposed mechanisms. The most important seems to be its interference with the ability of the neurotransmitter adenosine to bind to its nerve cell receptor . Also, caffeine inhibits the enzyme cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase, which breaks down intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), another messenger involved in the transmission of nerve signals from hormones originating outside the central nervous system

Molecular Structure Of Caffeine

Do you feel like a zombie in your 8 a.m. class? The National Sleep Foundation reports that teenagers need about 9¼ hours of sleep to do their best.  The sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, is produced around 11 p.m.  Let’s do the math; 11 p.m. + 9 hours… You are definitely not ready to face the world until 8 a.m. Classes should begin at 9 a.m.! To wake up your brain and concentrate during first-period chemistry, you grab coffee on your way to school.

Manufacturers now focus their marketing on new products that are designed for those “not-so-morning” people.  How about Wired Waffles washed down with Kickstart Fruit Punch? These products advertise: increased energy, weight loss, enhanced physical and mental performance. What do they have in common? Caffeine!

To The Structure Of Caffeine

Caffeine is the most popular drug that is being used to maintain a certain mental stability such as staying awake, changing the way the brain functions, and moods. It is found in many of the drinks we consume daily. This includes, but not limited to sodas, coffee, and tea. Many consume this drug without even being conscious of their daily intake, and it is not something that most people think of as being dangerous or questionable. Although Caffeine is taken very lightly, large amounts of this product are in many of our drinks. For example, according to an article, “Neuropsychiatric Effects of Caffeine”, by Anthony Winston, it shows that 100 mg is in a normal cup of coffee, 75mg in instant coffee, and 50mg in tea that we drink every day (Winston, page 432).Commonly, caffeine starts to affect the brain and body within an hour and begins to wear off after 3 to 4 hours.

Caffeine is mainly use for the purpose to raise and boost mental functions, but when it is overly used, it can also advance into a harmful state called caffeinism. According to Winston, “caffeine is characterized by restlessness, agitation, excitement, rambling thought, speech, and insomnia” (page 1). Following these symptoms, many other disorders such as anxiety, sleep, eating disorders, and many more may occur.

Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) is a natural product found in plants. While the actual caffeine content of plant seeds and leaves varies quite a bit from species to species, caffeine is viewed as the most abundant naturally-occurring purine alkaloid, meaning it is derived from one or more purine nucleotides. Alkaloids are a large group of compounds that can be found mainly in plants and contain basic nitrogen atoms. These compounds usually exist as salts because of their basic nature. Major caffeine sources include the seeds of the coffee plant (Coffea Arabica), tea leaves (Camellia Sinensis), and cola nuts. It is widely accepted that caffeine is a stimulant when consumed by humans, with its main focus falling upon the central nervous system.