A lot of us drink coffee on a regular basis. Some of my friends drink it all day – every day.
But what do we actually know about the caffeine and its effects on our bodies?
By definition caffeine is a natural substance with bitter taste. It has the ability to stimulate the central nervous system which freshens you up. If consumed in moderate doses it has benefits your health by boosting your memory, your concentration and your mood. Coffee as the main source of caffeine is known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and some types of cancer. In spite of all the benefits caffeine can be dangerous. Overuse of coffee and caffeine containing drunks can cause anxiety, heart problems and anxiousness along with other negative effects. Cutting off on coffee might cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability.
Let’s start with the facts:
Decaf is not caffeine free!
According to Journal of Analytical Toxicology’s research 8 out of 9 tested decaf coffees turned out to contain caffeine. The results showed that decaf coffee contains between 8.6 and 13.9mg of caffeine. Regular coffee contains 95 to 200mg. A Coca-Cola(330ml) for that matter contains 30-35mg. My point is that if you overuse decaf beverages may cause the same effects on you as the caffeine beverages.
The effects of caffeine can be felt within minutes.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine the caffeine reaches its peak levels in blood after 30 to 60 minutes after consumption. Your body manages to “get rid” of half of the caffeine in your system for about 3 to 5 hours. The rest of it may take up to 14 hours. People who do not drink coffee on a regular basis are more likely to be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Experts advise not to drink coffee in the 8 hours before going to bed to avoid the risk of insomnia.
Everyone experiences different caffeine effects.
New York Magazine reports that “As a whole women metabolize caffeine faster that men. Smokers – twice as fast opposed to non-smokers. Women who are on the pill – trice as slow opposed to women who don`t take the pill. Asians metabolise it slower that any other race. ”
Energy drinks often contain less caffeine than coffee.
By definition people think that energy drinks contain more caffeine than coffee. Truth is that they are never as good as the good old cup of black coffee. Mayo Clinic reports that a can of Red Bull had 76-80mg of caffeine whereas a cup of coffee has 95 to 200mg. The energy rush you get from an energy drink is due to the tons of sugar in them.
Strong coffee actually contains less caffeine that light coffees.
Coffee’s strong flavour and bitter taste makes us think that they have more caffeine. In fact it’s exactly the same. Coffee’s strong flavour is due to the baking of the coffee beans. The temperature however is burning off the caffeine. The light non-baked coffees known as “green coffee” contains all the same beneficial contents – polifenols and caffeine – only in larger quantities.
At the end – here’s a bonus jpg with more interesting facts about caffeine.
Special thanks to the Cleaners of Edgware Road for the help and support while making this post.