Do you find yourself reaching out for a cup of coffee to kick start your day? Do you stock up energy drinks and soft drinks with high caffeine levels to pull an all nighter for college exams? Do you follow it up with high caffeinated beverages throughout the day to stay sharp?
80% of the world’s population consumes at least one caffeinated product daily, and this number increases to 90% for adults in North America. Businesses seized the opportunity to churn out energy drinks, traditional coffee and soft drinks laden with caffeine, but what is caffeine and why is it such an indispensable part of our daily lives?
How does caffeine affect you?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, and cacao plants, kola nuts and guarana berries. Caffeine stimulates the the brain and nervous system and keeps us awake by binding with adenosine receptors without activating them. Fun fact, adenosine receptors the brain and is the culprit of making us feel tired.
How much caffeine should you take?
According to the studies at the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine can be part of a healthy diet for most people, but too much caffeine may pose dangerous effects to our health. The FDA recommends a maximum intake of 400 milligrams a day (that’s about four or five cups of coffee).
However, the amount of caffeine in beverages vary depending on the type of beans used to how the product was processed. As a general rule of thumb, the FDA compiled a rough list of reference on caffeine content in selected beverages.
- 12 ounce can of caffeinated soft drink: 30-40mg
- 8 ounce green or black tea: 30-50mg
- 8 ounce coffee: 80-100mg
- Caffeine in energy drinks per 8 ounces: Ranges from 40-250mg
FDA listed common symptoms of overconsuming coffee as :
- fast heart rate
- upset stomach
- a feeling of unhappiness (dysphoria)
1Source decided to take a closer look at popular caffeinated beverages consumed by the public and empower consumers by listing out their caffeine content. Check out Caffeine Informer to find out the caffeine content in your fancy cup of coffee.
Starbucks coffees are ultra strong, with up to 270mg of caffeine packed into a single small cup. 2 cups and we would be over our daily limit.
A 12 ounce cup of McDonalds coffee contains 109mg of caffeine. Handy if you prefer something to sip on throughout the day!
A shot of espresso contains up to 71mg of caffeine. These pack a punch!
A can of coke contains 34mg of caffeine. Do not be fooled by the low amount, drink a few of these in a day and it all adds up!