Caffeine & Coffee

Caffeine & Coffee

Caffeine is known medically as Trimethylxanthine. Its chemical formula is C8H10N4O2. Caffeine has cardiac stimulant and also as a mild diuretic action. It provides a “boost of energy” or a feeling of heightened alertness.

Around 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine every day in one form or another. More than half of all American adults­ consume more than 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine every day, making it America’s most popular drug by far.

Caffeine is a natural component of chocolate, coffee and tea, and is used as an added energy boost in most colas and energy drinks. It’s also found in diet pills and some over-the-counter pain relievers and medicines.

The amount of caffeine from dietary sources

Coffee, brewed – 40 to 180 mg per cup.
Coffee, instant – 30 to 120 mg per cup.
Coffee, decaffeinated – 3 to 5 mg per cup.
Tea, brewed American – 20 to 90 mg per cup.
Tea, instant – 28 mg per cup.
Tea, canned iced – 22 to 36 mg per 12 ounces.
Cola and other soft drinks, caffeine-containing – 36 to 90 mg per 12 ounces.
Cola and other soft drinks, decaffeinated – 0 mg per 12 ounces.
Cocoa – 4 mg per cup.
Tea, brewed imported – 25 to 110 mg per cup.
Chocolate, milk – 3 to 6 mg per ounce.
Chocolate, bittersweet – 25 mg per ounce.

Coffee is an important source of caffeine in our diet. If frequency of intake is taken into consideration, Coffee is number one source of antioxidant in American diet. Both caffeinated and decaf versions appear to provide similar antioxidant levels.

In a study it was found, of all the foods studied dates actually ranked top as the most antioxidants of all based  solely on serving size, but since dates are not consumed at anywhere near the level of coffee, the drink comes as top source of antioxidants.

Besides keeping one alert and awake, coffee has been linked to an increasing number of potential health benefits, including protection against liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Regular coffee drinkers are 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
  • Two cups a day gives you 20 percent less risk of colon cancer.
  • Two cups a day causes an 80 percent drop in cirrhosis.
  • Two cups a day prevents gallstone development by 50 percent.
  • It has also shown to be beneficial in asthma, stopping headaches, boosting mood and even preventing cavities

These benefits may or may not be related to the other constituents in the coffee beans and not mainly to caffeine.

Another interesting study by The Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, Fla., showed that lab mice injected with caffeine were protected against developing Alzheimer’s disease.