Today’s molecule is something almost everyone has in large dosages in their daily life. Caffeine’s IUPAC name is 1, 3, 7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6(3H, 7H)-dione 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione. It is an achrial molecule without stereoisomers, meaning that two molecules of caffeine are not mirror images of one another. Caffeine is an aromatic fused ring molecule that contains ten pi electrons. The two amide groups in caffeine are usually resonant structures where the nitrogen and carbon atoms are double bonded to each other. This causes the nitrogen atoms to have a planar sp^2 hybridization.
Physically, pure caffeine appears at a white crystalline powder. Pure caffeine does not occur naturally in large quantities. Rather, caffeine is found in the seed and leaves of some plants as it can act as a natural pesticide to some insects.
Caffeine is used by humans as a stimulant drug. It works as a short-term, reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. This means that caffeine blocks the cholinesterase enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine, which is essentially a neutrotransmitter that functions to slow down the body and make the brain feel tired.
Humans ingest caffeine mainly from byproducts of the coffee seed, the tea leaf, and the guarana berry. Caffeine products can be found in many forms and by many names all over the world. Coffee, energy drinks, and various forms of tea are the most common sources of caffeine ingestion.
There are many positive effects caffeine can have on the human body. It can cause increased attention and alertness, as well as decreased fatigue for a short period. It can increase metabolic rate. It can also lower the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But when used in large dosages over long periods of time caffeine can lead to addiction, anxiety, and increased blood pressure. Be careful and use caffeine in moderation!
Without a doubt caffeine is one of the most important nonessential molecules in our society!