Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive stimulant drug globally.
Caffeine is naturally found in the fruit, leaves and beans of the coffee, cacao and guarana plants.
Caffeine is found in numerous drinks and foods. Many types of water now even have added caffeine.
How much caffeine is in my drink?
Here is a link to a caffeine chart listing some common brand name caffeinated beverages.
Below is a basic summary. Each brand is different and this is an estimate of an 8 oz serving. Remember, most people drink closer to 20 oz in a serving.
- Coffee 150mg
- Red bull 80 mg
- Full throttle 70mg
- Black tea 75 mg
- Yerba Mate 85 mg
- Green tea 30 mg
- Herbal tea 0mg
How does my morning caffeine affect my sleep?
The average half life of caffeine is 5 hours. This is different in each individual based on their genetic makeup, their other medications, and their frequency of use. But, the average is 5 hrs. Meaning, if you drink 20 oz of Starbucks coffee (400mg caffeine) at 9 am, then at 2 pm you still have 200mg in your system and at 7 pm you have 100mg in your system and at midnight you have 50 mg in your system.
I have had more patients than I can count have improvement in their sleep once they decreased their caffeine intake. Most people deny that their morning caffeine is affecting their sleep until they perform an experimental trial of a decreased amount of caffeine for a few weeks.
What are the benefits of caffeine?
Caffeine, when used appropriately and in moderation, has been shown to improve concentration, improve exercise performance, and improve mood.
What are the risks of caffeine?
Caffeine, especially when taken excessively, can cause anxiety, irritability, insomnia, peptic ulcer disease, restlessness, diarrhea, dehydration, palpitations.
So, in summary, be aware of what you are putting into your body and the possible effects. Know that even though something is culturally accepted or has become your routine, it may be affecting you in a negative way. It is often worth an experiment on yourself to assess how your routine is affecting you.
How can you routine be altered in a way to still provides the benefits you are seeking without causing the adverse outcomes?