How much caffeine is too much? May 23 2018
For starters, why do we even need to moderate caffeine? What's the big deal?
Caffeine is a highly addictive substance, like sugar or cocaine, according to studies by many institutions. It doesn't take a lot to develop a dependence. How many folks do you know who "can't function" without their morning cup of coffee? The science behind the hook is simple. Caffeine can disguise itself as adenosine, the molecule in our bodies that makes us feel tires, and take its place. This not only delays our feeling of tiredness, but also spikes our adrenaline and dopamine production, making us feel rad and happy and ready for action. When the caffeine wears off, our exhaustion catches up with us hard. We get cranky, tired, sore and headachey. Know what the easiest fix for this bad feeling is? That's right, more caffeine. It's super effective!
What's the downside? Why not just stay on the ride? Put simply, the human body needs rest. If we just go and go and go, we will eventually cease to function. Lack of rest leads to a weakened immune system, mental fuzziness, lack of appetite moderation and improper regulation of blood sugar. Not to mention caffeine directly acts as a cardiac stimulant and vasodilator, which means it ups your heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Neither is necessarily a bad thing, but without moderation can become dangerous.
|A few examples of average caffeine contents|
Do any of these numbers surprise you? It's a popular misconception that your morning latte will get you more buzzed than a cup of drip, or that white tea contains no caffeine whatsoever! For anyone concerned with moderating their caffeine intake, this misinformation can be trouble. So for the record:
|Drip Coffee||2.50 Cups|
|Espresso Shot||6.00 Shots|
|Cold-Brew Coffee||2.00 Cups|
|White Tea||9.00 Cups|
|Green Tea||7.50 Cups|
|Oolong Tea||6.50 Cups|
|Black Tea||5.00 Cups|
Specific to tea, a second steeping of your leaves will result in a cup containing a mere 20-30% as much caffeine as the first infusion. Every infusion of the same leaves decreases the concentration of caffeine, so after two or three steepings, you're essentially drinking a decaf tea. Oolong fans, drink away!
If you are concerned that you may be consuming too much caffeine, look out for the following red flags:
- Increased anxiety
- Heart palpitations and/or unusually rapid pulse
On that note, I'm off to enjoy a morning cup of tea. I hope you found this informative! Please comment with questions and/or comments. Much love!