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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Caffeine

Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever. ~David Letterman

How much caffeine do you consume a day? It may be more than you think. Some sweets and over-the-counter medications have caffeine (note Excedrin at the top of the chart below.) Sunkist Orange soda has more caffeine than Pepsi or Coke.
The MayoClinc says most people can handle 200-300 milligrams a day although there are individuals that are affected by as little as one cup of coffee, 100 mg. At levels of 500-600 mg/day you may see the following side effects:
· Headaches
· Irritability
· Anxiety
· Nervousness
· Restlessness
· Insomnia
· Nausea or other gastrointestinal problems
· Muscle tremors
· Fast or irregular heartbeat
Caffeine can be addictive. As the brain gets used to the drug, it takes ever more caffeine for the same energy “boost”. Caffeine withdrawal results once a person stops consuming caffeine. Withdrawal symptoms are consistent with other drugs, but without the life-threatening severity of alcohol or Valium withdrawal. Caffeine withdrawal typically begins within 24 hours and can last for a week or more with these symptoms:
· Headaches
· Irritability
· Anxiety
· Fatigue
Ironic huh – the top three symptoms can result from too much caffeine or too little.
ProductSize in Oz.Total Caffeine in mg
Excedrin, Extra Str,2 tablets130
Mountain Dew Game Fuel20120
Brewed coffee860-120
Double espresso245-100
Snapple Elements18108
Ben & Jerry's Coffee Fudge Frozen Yogurt885
Red Bull8.580
Instant coffee870
Tea - black845-60
Mountain Dew1255
Lipton Iced Teas2050
TaB1247
Diet Coca Cola1245
RC Cola1243
Sunkist Orange Soda1241-42
Dr. Pepper1241
Pepsi1238
Coke Classic1235
Dark Chocolate bar1.4531
A&W Cream Soda1229
Barq's Root Beer1222
Tea - green820
Tea - white815
Chocolate Bar1.559
Chocolate milk85
Hot Chocolate85
Decaf coffee81-5
Herbal Tea80
7-up, Fanta, Fresca, Sprite120
Yoo-Hoo Chocolate80
Bottom Line
Use the chart above get a perspective on the caffeine strength of common items. Suppose you want to set a limit of 100mg per day. That would mean a limit of 1 coffee, 3 Cokes, 4 Root Beers, 11 Milk Chocolate bars or 20 glasses of chocolate milk.
Resources
http://coffeetea.about.com/library/blcaffeine.htm
http://www.energyfiend.com/the-caffeine-database
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeine/AN01211
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeine/NU00600
http://www.myaddiction.com/education/articles/caffeine_addiction.html