Friday, 28 June 2013


Caffeine is consumed all over the world, mainly in the form of drinks. It is found in coffee, tea, cola drinks,  energy drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate drinks. Caffeine can also be found in some over-the-counter medicines
Caffeine is a chemical found naturally in the leaves, seeds or fruits of some plants
Caffeine is a stimulant that works on the brain and the nervous system giving people a ‘caffeine buzz’. Caffeine effects people differently and will depend on how often and how much you have. In healthy adults, a small amount of caffeine may have positive effects, can make you feel more alert and full of energy. In large amounts it can make you feel nervous, restless and make it harder to sleep well
If you have moderate to high levels of caffeine you can build up a tolerance. This means you will need more caffeine to give you the same effects. Also, if you have a lot of caffeine you may feel withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, tiredness, anxiety and irritability if you stop having caffeine
Researchers are also looking at the potential adverse effects of caffeine on:
  • Heart health
  • Bone health
  • Behaviour
  • Cancer risk
  • Fertility
Here is the definition of what is considered low, moderate, high, and heavy amounts of caffeine intake:
·         a low to moderate intake is 130 mg-300 mg per day
·         a moderate is 200 mg-300 mg per day
·         high doses are above 400 mg per day
·         heavy caffeine consumption is more than 6,000 mg/day
Average caffeine content of some food and drinks:
  • Instant coffee (one teaspoon) 60-80 mg
  • Percolated or drip coffee 60-120mg
  • Tea 10-50mg
  • Chocolate bar 20-60mg per 30g bar
  • Energy or sports drinks 80mg/250ml can
  • Cola drinks 50mg/375ml can
For coffee drinkers, the real issue we are concerned about is, Do you have trouble sleeping? If you do, maybe you need to cut down on your caffeine, Are you agitated? Does your blood pressure go up? after a cup of coffee, plan to cut back on caffeine intake. Do you have stress that might be related to being jumpy from caffeine? if you do have symptoms that could be related to caffeine, then maybe you need to be tapering down. As far as avoiding it altogether, that's not necessarily something we need to be doing if we can tolerate it. If we enjoy that cup of coffee there's no reason we shouldn't drink it
One mistake that people make is assuming that decaffeinated means that there is no caffeine in the food or beverage. Decaffeinating happens through a process. According to the site, decaffeinating coffee usually consists of soaking the beans in water to dissolve the caffeine, extracting the caffeine with a solvent or activated carbon, and then re-soaking the beans in the decaffeinated water to reabsorb the flavor compounds that were lost in the initial extract. A study published by the Journal of Analytical Toxicology found that nine out of 10 tested cups of decaf coffee from coffee from shops and restaurants contained 8.6 mg-13.9 mg of caffeine. It also found that decaffeinated espresso shots contained 3 mg-16 mg of caffeine per shot. Another study done by Consumer Reports tested 36 cups of small decaf coffees from six locations. They found that more than half had less than 5 mg of caffeine while the rest had a range from 20 mg-32 mg per cup. Depending on how much you consume in a day, you can end up consuming more caffeine from decaffeinated drinks than you would in one cup of coffee
There is no way to know for sure exactly how much caffeine you consume so it's a good idea to put a limit on the total amount caffeinated and decaffeinated products that you consume. You can also choose products with lower caffeine contents. Make sure that you check the serving size on the can, bottle, etc
Drink lots of water : When you wake up in the morning, drink 8 ounces of water instead of coffee.  It's thought to counteract your desire for other, less healthy beverages

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