Caffeine is a drug that can be found in a wide variety of foods and beverages around the world. It can be found in coffee and in tea commonly, but it is increasingly available in the form of energy drinks and other alternative products, like beef jerky. In active societies, caffeine is seen as being a necessity. In societies where life is a little more laid back, caffeine is considered more to be more of a treat.
The United States leads the world in caffeine consumption, taking in 971 tons of this highly addictive drug every year.
Consuming high amounts of caffeine on a regular basis can be physically detrimental. Not only can it cause muscle twitches and involuntary spasms, but insomnia, nervousness, and dehydration are also common. If you take in too much caffeine, it is possible to overdose and have a fatal incident. Even knowing this, the facts about caffeine consumption are pretty extraordinary.
- 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume caffeine on a daily basis.
- A cup of coffee for caffeine measurement purposes is 6 oz, but the average serving of coffee is actually 9 ounces.
- The percentage of caffeine that is consumed during breakfast hours: 65%.
- 68% of coffee drinkers have their first cup of coffee within 1 hour of waking up.
- The average American and Brazilian teen or young adult will consume 100mg of caffeine daily.
- Despite the rise in energy drinks, 70% of the caffeine that is consumed every year is in the form of coffee.
- 9 out of 10 high school students say that they have trouble sleeping because of the amount of coffee that they drink.
- 90% of people in the world consume at least one meal or beverage with caffeine in it daily.
- On a per capita average, however, Finland leads the way with the average adult consuming at least 400 mg of caffeine every day.
Is it safe to drink caffeine? That’s a question that can bring a very divided answer depending on one’s personal point of view. Some people see caffeine as a safe method of waking up the mind and inspiring creativity. Others see caffeine as a highly addictive drug that creates health problems in the long term at the expense of short-term gains. No matter what the individual perspective happens to be, the one issue that caffeine does cause is dehydration. Caffeine is a stimulant that creates a diuretic effect on the human body. Drinking a couple cups of coffee is probably not going to hurt you, but if you regularly drink caffeine and you’re not bringing in additional water, you are going to become dehydrated in a hurry.
Where Is Caffeine Consumed The Most?
- Doctors and nurses report the highest rates of caffeine consumption across all major working industries.
- 75% of children surveyed by Time Magazine in 2010 stated that they drank caffeine regularly.
- The average caffeine intake for a child between the ages of 8-12: 109 mg, or the equivalent of 3 cans of soda.
- The city that consumes the most caffeine per capita in the United States is Seattle.
Seattle being the US leader in caffeine consumption isn’t very surprising. The #2 city, Tampa Bay, FL, is a little more surprising. It shows that the retirement community is just as likely as to use and potentially abuse caffeine as any other age group. It’s also not surprising that Tampa is the place in the US where painkillers that contain caffeine are most widely consumed. The fact that young kids are ingesting caffeine regularly though – that might be a decision that could be re-thought from time to time.
How Fast Does Caffeine Move?
- 75% of the caffeine that you consume daily will be filtered out of your system within 10 hours.
- The best times to drink coffee are between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM.
- Drinking caffeine in moderation can prevent the diuretic effect from overwhelming the body’s systems.
- Ingesting more than 744 mg of caffeine daily can increase the amount of calcium and magnesium that you lose in your urine.
- Caffeine is comprised of antioxidants which help the human body to repel free radicals that are responsible for diseases and illnesses such as cancer.
- It can be lethal to drink the amount of caffeine that’s in 100 cups of coffee in 4 hours.
- Drinking caffeinated products as a child increases the risk of adult obesity by 60%.
- It only takes 5-10 minutes for the average person to begin capitalizing the ingested caffeine.
- Women who drink 200mg of caffeine or more daily increase the risks of suffering from a miscarriage.
As long as you are able to regulate the amount of caffeine that you consume every day, there appears to be very little in the way of negative affects that can result from those choices. The problems with caffeine come when excessive amounts of it are consumed. For example, there are energy drinks on the market today that contain 344 mg of caffeine. This is not including any other energy boosters, like B vitamins, that may also contain caffeine. The recommendation on these cans is to drink no more than three of them per day. As the statistics show, just drinking two of these cans can make the body begin purging calcium and magnesium. The removal of these nutrients can create harmful health issues and may even be responsible for nerve damage. The average person only consumes about 100 mg per day, so these risks aren’t in play. It’s when massive amounts are consumed that a person’s health is at risk.
Are We Drinking Too Much Caffeine Every Day?
- The amount of Americans who drink 6 or more cups of coffee every day: 21 million.
- At least 68 million Americans will drink at least 3 cups of coffee every day.
- About 75% of those who regularly consume caffeine are addicted to it.
- Consuming as little as 200mg of caffeine every day can lead to addiction and altered chemistry in the brain.
- At the 300mg level, muscle twitching, severe headaches, and even slurred speech are all possibilities.
- Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the United States with sales estimated at well over $2 trillion in the last year.
- It’s estimated that the sales of energy drinks in the U.S. will reach well over $27 trillion by the year 2017.
- 40% of working individuals in the age range of 18 to 24 states that they have struggled on concentrating without consuming coffee.
- 37% of workers reported that they drink a minimum of 2 cups of coffee each day while they are at work.
- The percentage of Midwesterners who say that they feel less productive when they don’t have coffee to drink: 34%.
Caffeine is one of the few drugs that isn’t regulated, so the manufacturers who include caffeinated substances within their products aren’t required to label their caffeine content in some areas of the world. Even in areas where the content is required to be listed, it doesn’t actually affect the caffeine consumption. All one has to do is look at how much caffeine is consumed in the United States to see this is true. Because caffeine is found from over 60 different types of plants around the world, it is the most widely used stimulant that people consumed regularly. Even drinking or consuming items naturally had caffeine, but are chemically decaffeinated, won’t actually completely eliminate the drug from the drink. One cup of coffee that is decaffeinated typically contains about 10 mg of caffeine. Compare that to the caffeine and energy drinks, however, and the difference is pretty outstanding.
How Much Caffeine Does Your Coffee Have?
- Deathwish coffee has the most caffeine per fluid ounce, containing 54.2mg/fl oz.
- Most brand name coffees contain about 13mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.
- The lowest documented amount of caffeine in coffee comes from McDonald’s, at just 9.1mg per fluid ounce.
- Peet’s brewed coffee contains 16.7mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.
- Caribou Coffee contains about 15mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.
The variation in caffeine content can sometimes make it difficult for someone to gauge how much of this drug they’ve actually consumed. The differences can be quite outstanding. 10 fluid ounces of McDonald’s coffee is going to contain over 100 mg less caffeine than 10 fluid ounces of a coffee from Starbucks. This is why it is important to know how much caffeine is in any given cup of coffee and how many fluid ounces qualify as a serving. Otherwise there is the possibility of consuming way more caffeine than is intended on any given day.
Caffeine Doesn’t Always Work In The Same Way
- Women typically metabolize caffeine that they’ve consumed faster than men.
- Smokers process caffeine twice as quickly as non-smokers do.
- People from Asian decent tend to capitalize caffeine more slowly than any other racial demographic.
- Women who are taking birth control pills metabolize caffeine at 33% of the rate that women who are not taking birth control pills do.
- Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine in them per serving than light roast coffees. This is because the process of roasting actually burns off the caffeine.
- Starbucks provides coffee with the highest caffeine content: 20.6 mg per fluid ounce.
Knowing when to say when in regards to caffeine consumption really depends on the individual. Some people can drink heavy doses of caffeine on a daily basis and barely feel it, yet still not have any adrenal fatigue. For others, just one cup of coffee can make them feel like they’ve been caffeinated all day long. It all depends on the person’s metabolism and what outside influences may be contributing to higher or lower metabolism rates. For some people, caffeine can be out of their system in as little as three hours. For others, the caffeine might have a life within their body that’s as long as 14 hours. Because there are different sensitivities, it is important to note physical reactions that occur when caffeine is consumed. If you feel shaky or short of breath, then it’s time to stop drinking caffeine.
Is Caffeine Consumption Sending People To The Hospital?
- In 2011, there were more than 20,000 reported emergency room visits in which an energy drink was cited as the primary cause for a contributing factor of the health problem.
- The number of caffeine related emergency room visits in 2007 in the US: 10,068.
- People from 18 to 25 accounted for the largest group of patients by age for caffeine-related hospital visits.
- The percentage of people who are treated in the ER for caffeine consumption and have consumed other substances, like Adderall or alcohol, as well: 42%.
- The DSM-V has listed caffeine withdrawal as a mental disorder and caffeine intoxication is now included in the physician’s manual.
Caffeine isn’t going to be fatal as long as people seek help right away if they believe they have taken too much. Many of the instances of caffeine-related fatalities occur because massive amounts of the drug were consumed. In 2007, a man named James Stone consumed about 30 caffeine pills at one time, or about 2.5 g of caffeine, and it was enough to kill him. A British man in 2010 once ate two spoonfuls of powdered caffeine and drank an energy drink afterward to find death. Even seagulls aren’t immune to caffeine fatalities. Studies show that about 40 seagulls in Canada every year die from caffeine toxicity because they are consuming used coffee grounds. This provides one simple fact. Caffeine is a drug that should be respected and not abused.