Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

10 Things You Might Not Know About Caffeine | Huffington Post

More by this author

20 Fascinating Webcams You Can Watch Online Right Now 8 Ways To Stop Emotional Manipulation 30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit 30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier How You Can Find Peace… On A Map!

Trending in Health

1How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine 28 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian 310 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer 4Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 520 Medical Benefits of Marijuana You Probably Never Knew

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

Advertising

Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

Advertising

Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

Advertising

Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

Advertising

11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Read Next