Caffeine: Everyone’s Favorite Legal Drug!
- 90% of Americans consume it in some form every day. In fact, more than 450 million cups of coffee are consumed in the US daily.
- Caffeine is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in more than 60 different plants, including coffee beans, tea, cocoa, and even some nuts.
- Drip coffee typically contains more caffeine than espresso.
- Darker roasted coffees tend to have less caffeine than lighter ones.
- A caffeine overdose can be lethal. What, you ask, is the lethal dose of caffeine in humans? Roughly 150-200 mg per kg of body weight. That’s 100 cups of coffee in 4 hours. So, no worries.
- First isolated in coffee in 1820, caffeine is the most widely taken legal drug in the world.
- Caffeine is extracted by pressure-cooking beans and leaves with CO2 to produce the drug in powder form.
- Caffeine increases the production of dopamine in the brain’s pleasure circuits and blocks adenosine receptors, which stops you from getting drowsy.
- Caffeine works the same part of the brain as cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin. Only its effects are milder.
- Caffeine has some adverse effects, such as insomnia, increased urination and diarrhea.
- Caffeine benefits athletes and can improve endurance by reducing glucose burning and increasing fat burning.
- Caffeine is completely absorbed within 30-45 minutes and its effects diminish within three hours.
- Caffeine may be associated with physical and psychological dependence when consumed excessively. Withdrawals begin within 12-24 hours and can last two to nine days. Symptoms include headaches, tiredness, depression, irritability, and decreased energy.
- Decaffeinated products still have caffeine in them. In the U.S., “decaffeinated” means that a product contains no more than 2.5% caffeine.