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These 10 Facts About Coffee Will Blow Your Mind

These 10 Facts About Coffee Will Blow Your Mind

Most of us are aware of the effects that too much coffee can have. We usually drink it anyway because well, we need to be able to actually function for the first couple hours of the day. But caffeine’s even trickier than it appears. The Huffington Post shares a couple of facts you may not be aware of about coffee:

Most of us consume it every day, but how much do we really know about caffeine?

The naturally-occurring substance with a bitter taste stimulates the central nervous system, making you feel more alert. In moderate doses, it can actually offer health benefits, including boosts to memory, concentration and mental health. And coffee in particular, a major source of caffeine for Americans, has been associated with a host of body perks, including a possible decreased risk of alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.

But in excess amounts, caffeine overuse can trigger a fast heart rate, insomnia, anxiety and restlessness, among other side effects. Abruptly stopping use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal, including headaches and irritability.

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Below are 10 lesser-known facts about one of the most common drugs in the world.

Decaf isn’t the same as caffeine free.

Think switching to decaf in the afternoon means you aren’t getting any of the stimulant? Think again. One Journal of Analytical Toxicology report looked at nine different types of decaffeinated coffee and determined that all but one contained caffeine. The dose ranged from 8.6 mg to 13.9 mg. (A generic brewed cup of regular coffee typically contains between 95 and 200 mg, as a point of comparison. A 12-ounce can of Coke contains between 30 and 35 mg, according to the Mayo Clinic.)

“If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee,” study co-author Bruce Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor and director of UF’s William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine, said in a statement when the study was released. “This could be a concern for people who are advised to cut their caffeine intake, such as those with kidney disease or anxiety disorders.”

A 2007 Consumer Reports analysis looked at 36 cups of decaffeinated coffee and found that some contained more than 20 mg, Health.com reported.

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Caffeine starts working in just minutes.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak level in the blood (one study found increased alertness can begin in as few as 10 minutes). The body typically eliminates half of the drug in three to five hours, and the remainder can linger for eight to 14 hours. Some people, particularly those who don’t regularly consume caffeine, are more sensitive to the effects than others.

Sleep experts often recommend abstaining from caffeine at least eight hours before bedtime to avoid wakefulness at night.

But it doesn’t affect everyone the same way.

The body might process caffeine differently based on gender, race and even birth control use. New York magazine previously reported:

Women generally metabolize caffeine faster than men. Smokers process it twice as quickly as nonsmokers do. Women taking birth-control pills metabolize it at perhaps one-third the rate that women not on the Pill do. Asians may do so more slowly than people of other races. In The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug, authors Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K. Bealer hypothesize that a nonsmoking Japanese man drinking his coffee with an alcoholic beverage — another slowing agent — would likely feel caffeinated “about five times longer than an Englishwoman who smoked cigarettes but did not drink or use oral contraceptives.”

Energy drinks often don’t have more caffeine than coffee.

By definition, one might reasonably think that energy drinks would pack loads of caffeine. But many popular brands actually contain considerably less than an old-fashioned cup of black coffee. An 8.4-ounce serving of Red Bull, for instance, has a relatively modest 76 to 80 mg of caffeine, compared to the 95 to 200 mg in a typical cup of coffee, the Mayo Clinic reports. What many energy drink brands frequently do have, though, is tons of sugar and hard-to-pronounce ingredients (check out our video report on the subject here). And for more on how much caffeine is in tea, soft drinks and other products, click here.

Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts.

A strong, rich flavor might seem to indicate an extra dose of caffeine, but the truth is that light roasts actually pack more of a jolt than dark roasts. The process of roasting burns off caffeine, NPR reported, meaning those looking for a less intense buzz might want to opt for the dark roast java at the coffee shop.

Caffeine can be found naturally in more than 60 plants.

It’s not just coffee beans: tea leaves, kola nuts (which flavor colas) and cocoa beans all contain caffeine. The stimulant is found naturally in the leaves, seeds and fruits of a wide variety of plants. It can also be manmade and added to products.

Not all coffee has the same amount of caffeine.

When if comes to caffeine, all coffees are not created equal. According to a recent report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, popular brands varied widely when it comes to the jolt they provided. McDonald’s, for instance, had 9.1 mg per fluid ounce, while Starbucks packed more than double that at a full 20.6 milligrams.

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The average American consumes about 200 mg of caffeine a day.

According to the FDA, 80 percent of U.S. adults consume caffeine each day, with an individual intake of 200 mg. To put that in real world terms, the average caffeine-consuming American drinks two five-ounce cups of coffee or about four sodas.

While another estimate puts the total closer to 300 mg, both numbers fall within the definition of moderate caffeine consumption, which is between 200 and 300 mg,according to the Mayo Clinic. Daily doses higher than 500 to 600 mg daily are considered heavy, and may cause problems such as insomnia, irritability and a fast heartbeat, among others.

But we’re far from being the country that consumes the most.

According to a recent BBC article, Finland takes the crown for the country with the highest caffeine consumption, with the average adult downing 400 mg each day. Worldwide, 90 percent of people use caffeine in some form, the FDA says.

You can find caffeine in more than just drinks

According to one FDA report, more than 98 percent of our caffeine intake comes from beverages. But those aren’t the only sources of caffeine: certain foods, such as chocolate (though not much: a one-ounce milk chocolate bar contains only about 5 mg of caffeine), and medications can also contain caffeine. Combining a pain reliever with caffeine can make it 40 percent more effective, the Cleveland Clinic reports, and can also help the body to absorb the medication more quickly.

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10 Things You Might Not Know About Caffeine | Huffington Post

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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