There are all types of reports and opinions about caffeine. Some tell you that it’s entirely bad for you and should be banned, while others have found positives about the stimulant. There are times that you will want to cut it out or at least cut-down, and the truths about damage and effects will depend on your medical health.
We all likely consume caffeine in some way. While it’s most commonly associated with tea and coffee, it’s found in other drinks and food. You may unknowingly consume it if you don’t think about your food or drink choices fully. Did you know the average American will consume 2-3 cups of coffee a day, which is about 280mg of caffeine? In one year, 12,000 tons of caffeine is consumed, with 54% of that coming from coffee. Another 43% comes from tea, and the final 3% is from food and other products.
Before you start changing your coffee or tea intake, you’ll need to make sure you know absolutely everything possible about the stimulant. We’re delving into the full truth about caffeine, looking at everything you need to know about it. You may be surprised by the end.
What Exactly Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a chemical called 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. Remember that saying that if you can’t pronounce something because of its scientific name being bad for you? Well, that’s not quite the case, but there are chances that you couldn’t pronounce that without really thinking about it and you likely didn’t know what it is.
It’s a completely natural chemical, found in tea leaves, coffee beans, yerba mate, guarana and kola nuts. A study has shown that 90% of Americans consume some caffeine on a daily basis, even those who cut out coffee. It’s only when you follow a strict caffeine-free diet that you’re able to cut it out entirely.
While it’s considered a drug because it’s a stimulant, it’s a chemical. You can extract it through pressure cooking the leaves and beans to turn it into a powdered drug form, but for the most part, you’re getting a natural chemical. However, it is highly addictive, which is where the true idea of it being a drug comes from.
While coffee and tea are the most popular ways to get caffeine, you can also find it in chocolate, energy drinks, soda, some snack bars, and even ice cream.