March is Caffeine Awareness Month, and being a distributer of the substance, it makes sense that we talk a little about the life-saving substance that is caffeine.
So, what exactly IS caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring drug found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It affects the brain and central nervous system as a stimulant, helping consumers stay alert and not feel tired. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and generally unregulated around the world, making it the most widely consumed drug.1
Why do people consume caffeine?
People turn to caffeine for many reasons, the most popular being the ‘wake up’ effects it tends to have. In a society where focus and concentration are paramount and sleep sacrificed, caffeine is the common go-to to ensure productivity. Others simply enjoy the taste of their favourite cup of joe; the taste and smell associated with mornings and preparing for the day. Others still, drink coffee, teas and even energy beverages for the reported health benefits. For instance, consuming 2 cups of coffee daily is said to improve life expectancy.2
Where does caffeine come from?
Caffeine can be found in many of your favourite beverages and foods. The most well-known source of caffeine is in the coffee bean, but there is also caffeine in teas, chocolate and guarana. Caffeine found in other beverages like sodas, generally are synthetically produced.3
Can you have too much?
Despite it being unregulated, there is such a thing as having too much caffeine. Studies suggest in and around 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine daily is a safe amount for most healthy adults. That’s approximately 4 cups of brewed coffee, 5 espresso shots, 10 cans of cola, or 2 energy shots. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, especially among energy drinks.4
In recent times, people are choosing to reduce their caffeine intake, opting for decaffeinated coffees and teas. It should be noted, that decaffeinated beverages still contain about 0.1% caffeine. This equates to about 7 mg of caffeine in an 8oz cup of coffee, in comparison to 70–140 mg in a regular cup.5
What Can I Do?
While there seem to be many benefits, there are also negatives when consuming too much caffeine. At the end of the day, be mindful of your caffeine consumption and where it’s coming from. But, when you need a caffeine fix, give us a call, we can sort you out.