T Nation

Coffee and Adrenaline

Coach,

Do I understand this correctly.

  1. You drink coffee and it raises cortisol
  2. Cortisol raises adrenaline
  3. It does this by stimulating the process of turning dopamine into nor-adrenaline and then nor-adrenaline into adrenaline.

Hence, coffee will deplete dopamine, which is not the best for a 2a.

Is this correct?

Mostly increases the conversion of nor-adrenaline to adrenaline. Not so much dopamine depletion, at least not in the short term.

Not exactly.

Dopamine depletion will occur over time when nor-adrenaline becomes very low. This won’t happen solely from drinking coffee (unless it non-stop throughout the day). Now, if you have a super high stress level, adding a lot of coffee could speed-up dopamine depletion.

The main drawback of producing too much adrenaline is that you can desensitize your beta-adrenergic receptors. When that happens performance (mental and physical) goes down. You become less motivated, more lazy, muscle tone goes down, you might have concentration issues, you lose confidence and competitiveness, etc.

2As (and 1Bs) are actually those who can tolerate coffee the best because they have the fast COMT enzyme variation (1A and 3 have the slow COMT variation). Fast COMT means that they can break down adrenaline rapidly, that’s why both 1Bs and 2As are sensitive to adrenaline: since they break down adrenaline rapidly, they have less risks of desensitizing their receptors.

1Bs tend to be better with coffee than 2As because on top of having the fast COMT enzyme, they are overmethylators, which further speeds up the clearance of adrenaline. That’s why 1Bs are often athletes who are lazy in practice and in life, but are beasts in competition.

Type 3 are those who should avoid coffee the most: they have the slow COMT enzyme, have poor methylation and low levels of GABA and serotonin (the two neurotransmitters that can counterbalance adrenaline).

Type 1A are similar: they are also poor methylators with the slow COMT enzyme, meaning that when they produce adrenaline is stays there for a very long time (makes the 1A aggressive and impatient, and the type 3 overthinks and get anxious). But since 1A have high GABA, they can tolerate it a bit better than types 3.

I would say that when it comes to the potential side effects of coffee (or stimulants) here is the ranking by neurotypes:

BEST TOLERANCE FOR SIDE EFFECTS
Type 1B
Type 2A
Type 2B
Type 1A
Type 3
WORST TOLERANCE FOR SIDE EFFECTS

That having been said, 2As might have good tolerance for stimulants BUT once they are desensitized to adrenaline they will be those with the biggest drop in performance and quality of behavior. For that reason, I still prefer to play it safe with stimulants for 2As.

1 Like

That makes perfect sense.

I was thinking that because a 2a does not produce a lot of adrenaline, they are very sensitive to it, and just a little bit would garner a huge response. The reality is, they’re very efficient and can break it down easily.

Does that apply the same to Type 1 and dopamine? Because they’re so sensitive to it, once they get it, it’s used rapidly and they’re immediately in search of more?

Actually, that has evolved quite a bit.

1Bs are sensitive to dopamine (because they break it down fast) BUT 1A re dopamine-dominant because it stays high for very long (like adrenaline for them). So both will have different responses.

So does 2B also dominates adrenaline because it lasts a long time?

What do you do personally to protect/raise your dopamine levels?

I’m also a 2A and can relate to 99% of what you share about yourself. I definitely have low dopamine levels and am depressed/anxious.

SSRI never worked for me; NDRI did. I hate the idea of taking them and slowly weened myself off. After I started supplementing with some dopamine and serotonin boosting supplements, I am feeling much better!

Can you share what you do personally?

Probably your receptors are desensitized because of constantly having high dopamine. Thus this lowers serotonin and creates a imbalance. Which makes you depressed and anxious. Dopamine should be balanced out by serotonin during your day and even during your week. Don’t know if SSRI will work if there is no (or little) serotonin to inhibit its re-uptake. On the other end, if through NDRI dopamine/noradrenalin stays high, it desensitizes the receptors even more.