Caffeine is a chemical that is found naturally in many plants, including coffee beans, tea leaves and cacao pods. It can also be manufactured and added to foods and beverages. Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why many people consume drinks like coffee to help them stay awake and focused when they are tired. Caffeine is not stored in the body. It is usually eliminated through urine a few hours after consumed.
Increased energy. Caffeine has a stimulating effect on the brain which helps prevent feelings of fatigue. It can also help with focus and concentration.
Antioxidant protection. Because caffeine contains antioxidants, caffeine consumption can protect our cells from possible damaging effects of free radicals.
Insomnia. Because caffeine fights fatigue, consuming caffeine too late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. A good rule is to limit caffeine intake to the morning or early afternoon.
Headaches. Caffeine consumption can be a trigger for a headache.
Decreased bone density. Large amounts of caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, which can lead to a decrease in bone density.
Reflux. Caffeine can cause stomach acid to rise into the lower esophagus, which increases the risk of gastrointestinal reflux, or heartburn.
Nerves. Because caffeine can be a strong stimulant, consuming large amounts of caffeine can lead to an increased heart rate, jitters or anxiety.
FDA SAFE INTAKE AMOUNTS
Adults. 400mg (or less) per day
Pregnant women. 200mg (or less) per day
TYPICAL CAFFEINE AMOUNTS
Dark Chocolate (1oz) = 15mg
Diet Coke (12oz) = 50mg
Espresso (1oz) = 65mg
Green Tea (8oz) = 30mg
Starbucks Coffee (16oz) = 330mg