By HEALTHY DRINKS | Sep 04, 2013
Most of us consume it every day, but how much do we really know about caffeine? The naturally-occurring substance with a bitter taste stimulates the central nervous system, making you feel more alert. In moderate doses, it can actually offer health benefits, including boosts to memory, concentration, and mental health. And coffee in particular, a major source of caffeine for Americans, has been associated with a host of body perks, including a possible decreased risk of alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.
But in excess amounts, caffeine overuse can trigger a fast heart rate, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness, among other side effects. Abruptly stopping use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal, including headaches and irritability.
Think switching to decaf in the afternoon means you aren’t getting any of the stimulant? Think again. One Journal of Analytical Toxicology report looked at nine different types of decaffeinated coffee and determined that all but one contained caffeine. The dose ranged from 8.6mg to 13.9mg. (A generic brewed cup of regular coffee typically contains between 95 and 200mg, as a point of comparison. A 12-ounce can of Coke contains between 30 and 35mg, according to the Mayo Clinic.)
“If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee,” says study co-author Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor and director of UF’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine. “This could be a concern for people who are advised to cut their caffeine intake, such as those with kidney disease or anxiety disorders.”
- Caffeine in coffee improves small blood vessel function (medicalnewstoday.com)
- How Too Much Coffee Could Affect Your Work Performance (forbes.com)
- Coffee May Improve Cardio Functioning By Dilating Small Blood Vessels; Who Knew? (medicaldaily.com)
- Does Caffeine in Coffee Perk Up Heart Health? (news.health.com)
- Coffee may be Good for Blood Circulation (medindia.net)
- Caffeine: saviour of nurses everywhere or high risk drug? (inanurseblog.wordpress.com)