Caffeine Coffee: Waking up and smelling the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee, sipping on a cola, or quietly enjoying a delicious cup of tea – these three actions have one thing in common: caffeine.
For thousands of years, caffeine has been part of the daily lives of people from many cultures, which consume it in food and beverages. It remains today one of the most studied substances in the world. Thus, it is important to learn more about this popular ingredient.
Some historical facts about caffeine coffee
Caffeine was discovered when humans found that chewing the seeds, bark or leaves of certain plants can reduce fatigue, help concentration and improve mood.
Coffee comes from the province of Kaffa in Ethiopia, but historians do not all agree on that. Coffee culture was first spread in Arabia, where, according to the most recent archaeological research, coffee would have been “domesticated” in the fifteenth century, when man saw that it was possible to steep coffee berries (and other shrubs) in hot water to create drinks with stimulating properties.
Many foods and beverages that we consume every day contain caffeine, including coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Offered in many different forms, products containing caffeine can be consumed as a safe and beneficial stimulant throughout the day to improve concentration and recharge energy.
Of course, caffeine should be consumed in moderation. The recommended maximum intake of caffeine is 400 mg for the general adult population, and 300 mg for women of childbearing age. In other words, a person of an average weight of 150 pounds who consumes nine cups of tea, three cups of coffee, or eleven cans of cola, can reach this threshold.
The Caffeine Content of Common Beverages
Here is some information about the caffeine content of foods and beverages, so you can see where you are as against the daily limit of 300 mg or 400 mg.
Brewed coffee. A 237 ml cup of brewed coffee contains about 135 mg of caffeine. However, we must not forget that many cups of retail coffee chains exceed the reference format and can sometimes contain as much as 474 ml or 595 ml of coffee.
Black tea. A 237 ml cup of infused black tea usually contains 43 mg of caffeine. Once again, you must take into account the size of the beverage you drink.
Green tea. A 237 ml cup of brewed green tea brewed comprises about 30 mg of caffeine.
Cola. A serving of a 240 ml soft drink has 23 mg of caffeine, half of coffee and a third of tea. A 355 ml can of cola contains 37 mg of caffeine, and diet cola has 45 mg.
Energy drinks. The caffeine content of such drinks varies considerably from one brand to another. Reading the labels is recommended. A serving of 473 ml of energy drink contains 140 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a large cup of coffee.
Chocolate. A portion of 30 mg of dark chocolate, made from 45% to 70% cocoa, contains an average of 20 mg of caffeine, and an equivalent portion of milk chocolate contains about 6 mg.
Caffeine and hydration
It is essential to drink throughout the day to be sufficiently hydrated. Drinks containing caffeine help meet your hydration needs, as well as beverages that do not contain it.
Indeed, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in its February 2004 report on dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulfate notes that “[…] beverages that contain caffeine seem to contribute to the total daily water intake in the same way that the drinks do not contain them.”
It is recommended to drink about eight cups of fluid per day by diversifying the types of beverages that we consume. While prioritizing water (about one liter per day), one can also include juice, milk, coffee, tea and soft drinks. For all those who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it is important to avoid consuming it at least six hours before bedtime.
Caffeine and Bone Health
Calcium is an important mineral because it helps build and maintain healthy bones and teeth. It is suspected that caffeine intake can affect bone health.
However, Dr. Robert P. Heaney, an osteologist, focused specifically on the impact of the absorption of calcium from four different soft drinks, water and milk. The results of his study were published in 2001 in an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, where he concludes that beverages with caffeine had no effect on calcium balance. He said that the key to bone health was the consumption of calcium.
Caffeine is present in a variety of foods and drinks we consume daily. Knowing more about this natural stimulant can help you make informed choices, which will be beneficial both to your health and for your pleasure.