Can’t wake up without a cup of coffee? Can’t study past ten o’clock without your slender carbonated energy drink? Depend on that mid-day diet coke to keep you productive until the end of the day?
- Caffeine. It is the ingredient that all of these beverages share and the ingredient our stressed and tiring body’s crave. So, what is caffeine and what does it do?
Caffeine is a stimulant. It acts on our body’s central nervous system to create a level of higher alertness that is caused by an increase in your heart rate and blood vessels expand to give more oxygen to our brain. This stimulating effect usually lasts for about an hour. Caffeine is also a diuretic (a.k.a. makes you have to pee a lot) so make sure you are near a bathroom! Caffeine is not considered addictive; however, some sensitive individuals may experience mild, temporary effects, including headache, restlessness and irritability when their daily intake is substantially altered. Experts say that gradually decreasing your consumption will greatly alleviate some of the symptoms like that pounding headache when you haven’t fueled up on your triple shot espresso latte.
Caffeine is safe…. In moderation! Experts say that moderate amounts of caffeine are safe for most adults (~300 mg) but every body is different. Caffeine loses its effectiveness as your body builds a tolerance so someone who is used to drinking 4 cups of coffee daily won’t be affected as much by 1 cup. Some people with certain conditions such as anxiety or pregnancy should work to limit their consumption of caffeine because of its effects on your nervous system.
How much caffeine is in….
Coffee (8oz brewed) ……….65-120 mg
Espresso (1oz shot) ……….30-50 mg
Tea (8oz cup) ……….25-70 mg
Soda/Pop (8oz) ……….20-40 mg
Carbonated Energy Drink (8oz can) ………. 80mg