Caffeine is the most used drug in the world, around 80% of adults consume caffeine on a regular basis (1). But most of us don’t consume caffeine by itself, rather we consume it in the form of coffee, soda, chocolate and energy drinks.
I, like most people, consume the majority of my caffeine from coffee, the black liquid gold that we all love and rely on to power us through our day. And I know I am not alone in this habit, coffee is the most drank beverage in the world. But how many of us actually know how it works? How does coffee make us alert for a couple hours, but soon wears off and sends us running for another cup? The answer lies in the an energy molecule called adenosine.
Have you ever wondered why you fall asleep at night ?
Current science isn’t really sure what makes us fall asleep, but there are some theories that have been proposed in recent years.
For today's blog post, we will focus on one of those theories. The theory is based off the idea that the byproduct of energy makes us fall asleep. To me, this makes perfect sense because I tend to sleep much better on the days when I exercise versus the days I don't. But why does this happen? How does exercise impact our sleep? To understand this mechanism we must take a couple steps back and discuss how the body makes energy. In order for your body to move and work properly the body creates an energy molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). We all remember learning about this molecule called ATP right? The best way to understand how this molecule works is to think of it as a currency. For example, when you go on a walk or have a meeting you are using ATP to move and talk to your co-workers. It is responsible for everything, and without it your body and mind would be useless. But like most things in life, there is a cost to pay and ATP is no different.
It is important to realize that mobility and flexibility are not the same thing. To me, flexibility is your ability to move a joint through a range of motion with assistance (passive range of motion), while mobility is your ability to move a joint through a range of motion without the need for assistance (active range of motion). An easier way to think of this is having someone stretch you out versus doing the movement by yourself. The picture below does an excellent job of showing the difference between the two: