Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid substance that stimulates your central nervous system. This means it can help boost your alertness and eliminate your drowsiness. Chances are you consume some caffeine on a regular basis if you eat chocolate and drink coffee tea, and soft drinks.
Many people do not see caffeine as a drug, but it is a drug even though caffeine is widely consumed. Therefore, caffeine has some side effects. Too much caffeine could cause disruption in the sleep patterns in some people, but this varies with the individual.
Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is legal unregulated in most parts of the world. In the United States, beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks especially cola, and energy drinks, are very popular. In fact, about 90 percent of adults consume caffeine on a daily basis without giving it a thought.
The Food and Drug Administration recognizes caffeine safe to consume because most people don't usually eat or drink 500 milligrams that is the dangerous range. Your body should be able to tolerate about 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine a day. Caffeine become dangerous when doses are over 10 grams for an average adult. That's equivalent to about 2 to 4 cups of brewed coffee. If you are extra-sensitive to caffeine, as little as a single cup of coffee could prompt undesirable effects, such as restlessness.
You might be more sensitive to caffeine if you are prone to stress, have high blood pressure, have headaches often, have an irregular heart beat and stomach ulcers or acid reflux, according to MedlinePlus.com.
Women may increase their risk of fertility problems if they consume a lot of caffeine because caffeine reduces muscle activity in the fallopian tubes. Caffeine also can increase pregnancy complications because it crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus. Women may be at a higher risk of miscarriage and delivery of a low birth weight infant if their caffeine intake exceeds 200 to 300 milligrams per day.
Tea contains more caffeine than coffee by dry weight. A typical serving, however, contains much less, since tea is normally brewed much weaker. Also contributing to caffeine content are growing conditions, processing techniques, and other variables. Thus, certain types of tea may contain somewhat more caffeine than other teas.
Soft drinks typically contain about 10 to 50 milligrams of caffeine per serving. By contrast, energy drinks, such as Red Bull, can start at 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving. For a list of how much caffeine is found in soft drinks, check out this website.
Chocolate derived from cocoa beans contains a small amount of caffeine. A typical 28-gram serving of a milk chocolate bar has about as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee, although dark chocolate has about the same caffeine as coffee by weight.
If you experience side effects of caffeine, take an inventory of what you are eating or drinking. Are you drinking more than 4 cups of coffee a day? Are you drinking an excessive amount of tea or soft drinks? Are you eating too much chocolate? No one says you have to cut out these four items, but it would be wise to monitor how much you are eating and drinking.