9 Facts About Caffeine That Will Surprise You

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Like millions of other Americans, I need a strong cup of joe in the morning so I can run on all cylinders during the day. The miracle drug in that glorious black elixir is caffeine. It’s addictive. It can be consumed in numerous types of drinks. And it keeps us awake. In fact, caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world.

Before you pour your next cup of coffee, keep these other 9 facts in mind:

1. There’s caffeine in your chocolate. Yes, cocoa naturally has caffeine in it – generally about 10-30mg (a cup of coffee, depending on the type, can have up to 200mg of caffeine). The darker the chocolate, the greater the caffeine content. Source

2. Caffeine keeps you awake by binding to the adenosine molecule and preventing it from binding to the corresponding receptor in the brain. When bound to enough receptors, adenosine causes the brain to say, “Hey, I’m tired! Let’s go to sleep now.” Source

3. Caffeine can relieve symptoms of an asthma attack because it acts like theophylline, which was used in many asthma medications (better medications are now available). Basically, caffeine can help open the airways, making it easier to breathe. Source

4. Scientists and lab technicians consume the most caffeine. Science is a 24-hour endeavor and experiments can run 7 days per week. With such a messed up sleep schedule, scientists and techs rely heavily on caffeine. Source

5. It takes about 15-45 minutes for caffeine to reach peak levels in your blood. Factors that affect the length of time it takes caffeine to reach peak levels are metabolism, whether or not you’ve eaten anything and so forth. Source

6. In some studies, caffeine has been shown to reduce your chance of getting liver disease, colorectal cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Caffeine can also help relieve certain kinds of headaches. Source

7. Yes, you can overdose on caffeine. But you’ll have to drink roughly 80-100 cups of coffee. Not likely. But lethal doses can easily be reached using caffeine pills, or even pure caffeine powder you can buy online. Certain illnesses, such as chronic liver disease, can lower the threshold for a lethal overdose. Source

8. Caffeine withdrawal is a mental disorder, and is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Withdrawal symptoms can include everything from headaches to fatigue. Source

9. Decaf coffee still has caffeine in it! Decaf can have has much as 14mg of caffeine. If you’re trying to avoid it, then go for “no caffeine,” not decaf. Source

 

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