A-Z Nutrition: Caffeine

Published on: 02/12/2020

What is the buzz about caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant naturally present in certain foods including, coffee, tea, and chocolate. Stimulants impact the nervous system by exciting it, giving some people the feeling of alertness while others may have the jitters (1).

Cautions about caffeine!

Due to the stimulant nature of caffeine, large doses (more than 2-4 cups of coffee) can have negative health impacts for some individuals including:

  • Dehydration
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

For most people, moderate amounts of caffeine up to 2 cups do not have negative effects. Some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you are concerned about your caffeine consumption or are pregnant, please consult your healthcare provider for personal recommendations.

 

Foods with Caffeine

Beverages like coffee, tea and energy drinks aren’t the only items that with caffeine. There are also several foods with caffeine.

  • Chocolate including chocolate flavored foods
  • Guarana
  • Yerba mate drink

The caffeine content in these foods is far lower than that found in coffee or energy drinks. It is simply something to be aware of for those that may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

The caffeine recommendations for children are far lower than those in adults due to notable impacts on sleep. For adults that use caffeine to remain awake or after a bad night’s sleep, there are other options. Working with a dietitian can help improve intake and sleep patterns to decrease the need for caffeine in many individuals.

References

1. Food and Drug Administration. Caffeine. MedlinePlus. 2015.

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