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    The Ultimate Guide to Coffee and Caffeine

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    Everyone has particular feelings associated with a cup of coffee, regardless of whether you drink it sparingly or occasionally throughout the day. Still, it’s astounding that so few individuals are aware of the substance caffeine. Our coffee and caffeine guide will bridge that gap.

    Knowing how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee, let alone how much is safe to take, is crucial if you are a devoted coffee drinker. We get that having a cup of coffee is a necessary component of your day and that you are obsessed with its many benefits. However, it’s especially important to understand the many varieties of coffee and how they relate to caffeine.

    This guide will take you on a journey through the world of coffee and caffeine and explain how they interact to offer you the ultimate morning pick-me-up. Additionally, we’ll go through some coffee varieties and how much caffeine they contain so you can adjust your preferences appropriately.

    Coffee vs. Caffeine

    The global coffee consumption rate is over 90%. It is the most popular beverage consumed as a “wake me up” or “pick me up.” Well, this explains why coffee and caffeine frequently go together. Caffeine’s drawbacks are a necessary part of any discussion about coffee. The caffeine in coffee is what gives the beverage its “pick-me-up” quality.

    Caffeine and coffee are totally unrelated substances. The main distinction between the two is that while caffeine is a widely consumed psychoactive chemical most frequently found in coffee and carbonated beverages, coffee is a beverage produced by straining water through powdered, roasted coffee beans. Here is a comparison below between the two.

    As to Definition

    • Coffee – A drink that is brewed from roasted coffee beans.
    • Caffeine – A psychoactive substance that stimulates the neurological system to assist treat drowsiness or drowsiness.

    As to Type

    • Coffee – A type of drink.
    • Caffeine – A type of psychoactive substance.

    As to Form

    • Coffee – It could either be liquid or powdered.
    • Caffeine – It could either be in the form of a pill or liquid.

    As to Inclusion in Drinks

    • Coffee – Coffee is a catch-all term for a variety of drinks, including espresso, latte, Frappuccino, Cappuccino, Americano, etc.
    • Caffeine – Caffeine can be found in a variety of beverages, including coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and even pills.

    Amazed woman looking at a coffee cup

    Coffee and Safety

    According to the Mayo Clinic, for the majority of healthy adults, 400 mg of caffeine per day seems to be safe. That amount of caffeine is approximately equal to the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, two “energy shot” drinks, or ten cans of cola. Be aware though that different drinks have significantly different caffeine contents, particularly energy drinks.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning that caffeine in powder or liquid form can contain dangerous amounts of caffeine. In only one teaspoon of powdered caffeine, about 28 cups of coffee are contained. Such high caffeine intake could lead to major health issues and even death.

    Caffeine consumption is not recommended for kids, even though it may be safe for adults. Adolescents and young adults, however, need to be warned against using too much coffee and combining it with alcohol and other drugs. Moreover, women who are pregnant, attempting to get pregnant, or who are nursing should discuss with their doctors keeping their daily caffeine intake to a maximum of around 200 mg.

    Undesirable effects could be the result of heavy caffeine consumption. Additionally, those who are extremely sensitive to caffeine’s effects or who take specific drugs may want to forgo it.

    Coffee and Health

    It’s not only you that needs caffeine to get going and stay awake. Caffeine is used by millions of people every day to increase alertness and focus. But you should be conscious of “how much is too much” when you depend so heavily on caffeine and coffee to get you through the day.  In this section, we’re going to enumerate both the benefits and side effects of coffee and caffeine intake.

    Mature businesswoman looking away thoughtfully

    Benefits

    Caffeine has benefits other than just waking you up in the morning and regaining concentration when it is consumed in moderation. Our bodies receive an adrenaline rush from caffeine, giving us more energy to carry out our everyday physical and mental activities. In addition to its stimulating effects, coffee has been connected to a lengthy variety of possible health advantages, giving you all the more reasons to get brewing.

    Boosts Energy Levels

    Caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee, has been reported to boost energy and reduce exhaustion by changing the levels of specific neurotransmitters in the brain. [1] [2] [3]

    Possibly Linked to a Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

    Regular coffee consumption may eventually be linked to a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. In fact, a review of 30 studies found that daily coffee consumption was linked to a 6% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. [4] Additionally, it has a lot of antioxidants and may have an effect on metabolism, inflammation, and insulin sensitivity, all of which are factors in the development of type 2 diabetes. [5]

    Could Support Brain Health

    According to some research, drinking coffee may help fend against conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cognitive loss. [6]

    Possibly Support Weight Management

    Coffee may be associated with reduced body fat and may promote weight management. According to one study, coffee drinkers were also more inclined to engage in physical activity. [7] [8]

    Linked to a Lower Risk of Depression

    Coffee may be associated with a decreased risk of depression and may even be associated with a lower risk of suicide death, according to several studies. [9] [10]

    Could Protect Against Liver Conditions

    Coffee drinking may be associated with a lower chance of dying from chronic liver disease as well as other illnesses like liver cancer and liver scarring. [11] [12]

    Supports Heart Health

    According to several studies, drinking coffee may reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and heart failure. [13] [14] [15]

    Could Increase Longevity

    Regardless of other parameters, such as age, weight, or alcohol consumption, coffee drinking may be linked to a lower risk of death. However, more study is still required. [16] [17

    Possibly Enhance Athletic Performance

    When consumed before exercising, coffee may enhance physical performance and endurance. However, other research has shown conflicting results. [18] [19] [20]

    Coffee-Crazed Woman

    Side Effects

    Coffee may seem like a wonderful way to stimulate yourself when your eyelids won’t stay open in the morning, but excessive stimulation could have the opposite effect by taxing your mind and body. Even the most healthy drug in the world in excess can be dangerous, as is caffeine in excess. Although not particularly harmful, coffee addiction is nevertheless not too minor to be disregarded. Your body collapses severely when you become accustomed to consuming an excessive serving quantity of coffee on a regular basis. Therefore, any unexpected absence of it results in withdrawal symptoms. 

    Addiction

    Those who regularly drink significant amounts of caffeine may experience psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms if they go without it for a few hours. [21] [22]

    Anxiety

    Caffeine can boost alertness in low to moderate levels, while higher doses might cause anxiety or jitteriness. [23] [24] Determine how much you can handle by keeping an eye on your own reaction.

    Insomnia

    Although it can keep you awake during the day, caffeine may have a detrimental impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep. [25] [26] [27] By early afternoon, stop drinking coffee to prevent sleep issues.

    Fatigue

    Although caffeine gives you energy, as its effects wear off, it can also make you feel tired. [28] To reduce rebound fatigue, try to limit your caffeine intake.

    Digestive Issues

    Small to moderate amounts of coffee can help with gastrointestinal motility, but excessive doses can cause loose stools or GERD. [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] You might find it helpful to drink less coffee or to switch to tea.

    Rapid Heart Rate

    Caffeine in large dosages has the potential to alter a person’s heart rhythm or pace. [35] These outcomes seem to differ significantly from person to person. [36] [37] If you experience them, think about lowering your consumption.

    High Blood Pressure

    When taken in large doses or right before exercise, as well as in those who don’t drink coffee often, caffeine appears to increase blood pressure. [38] [39] [40] [41] However, it’s essential to keep an eye on your reaction because this effect might only be temporary.

    Frequent Urination and Urgency

    Numerous studies have connected high caffeine intake to an increase in urine frequency and urgency. [42] [43] [44] Limiting your intake might help these symptoms.

    Muscle Breakdown

    Rhabdomyolysis, or the breakdown of damaged muscle, can occur in people who consume high levels of caffeine. [45] [46] [47] If you’re unsure of your tolerance, keep your daily dosage to 250 mg.

    Different types of coffee in cups on dark table, top view

    Coffee with Caffeine

    Caffeine is not necessary for every coffee. Decaffeinated coffee, which has had the caffeine removed, is an option for pregnant women and moms (who are encouraged to avoid consuming caffeine in their diet). It is a much safer option to reduce caffeine intake in the system.

    The Mayo Clinic website offers a list of different coffee varieties along with an estimate of how much caffeine each one contains. They also added that the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee or tea might vary considerably. The amount of caffeine can vary depending on processing and brewing duration. So, the following figures may only be used as a guide.

    Coffee Type Serving Size Caffeine Content
    Brewed 8 oz. 95-200 mg.
    Brewed, decaffeinated 8 oz. 2-12 mg.
    Brewed, single-serve varieties 8 oz. 75-150 mg.
    Brewed, single-serve varieties, decaffeinated 8 oz. 2-4 mg.
    Espresso, restaurant-style 1 oz. 47-75 mg.
    Espresso, restaurant-style, decaffeinated 1 oz. 0-15 mg.
    Instant 8 oz. 27-173 mg.
    Instant, decaffeinated 8 oz. 2-12 mg.
    Specialty drink (latte or mocha) 8 oz. 63-175 mg.

    Factors that Influence Caffeine Content in Coffee

    Now that you are aware of what caffeine is and how it may affect your body, it is imperative to comprehend the relevant factors that affect the amount of caffeine in coffee. It would be beneficial to comprehend the factors influencing the caffeine concentration in your next cup of coffee because we are aware that caffeine can have both beneficial and harmful effects on the body. Keeping an eye on the amount of caffeine in your coffee helps you avoid consuming too much of the stimulant and suffering from its adverse effects.

    The factors listed below will guide you in choosing the ideal coffee, regardless of whether you prefer high, medium, or low levels of caffeine.

    Coffee Bean

    There are numerous varieties of coffee plants, and different varieties thrive in diverse regions of the world. Coffee beans from different plants will have varying amounts of caffeine due to different growing circumstances that affect the bean’s characteristics.

    Caffeine can be produced by coffee plants naturally to act as a pesticide. At higher altitudes, these plants produce less caffeine as the presence of pesticides are lesser than at lower altitudes. Consider the most popular coffee bean in the world, Arabica, and its well-known counterpart, Robusta. While Robusta can only grow at an altitude of 600 meters, Arabica thrives best at an altitude of 1,300 to 1,500 meters. As a result, Arabica contains far less caffeine than Robusta.

    Roasting Time

    A typical misconception is that the darker the roast, the stronger the caffeine kick will be. But in reality, during the roasting process, the caffeine content of the coffee remains relatively the same. What is affected by the length of roasting time is the weight and density of the coffee beans. Because coffee expands during roasting and loses water weight, the longer the roasting period, the less dense the coffee bean will be. This indicates that a single scoop of coffee grounds has more dark coffee grounds compared to light coffee grounds. Because more coffee grounds are used in darker roasts, they typically taste richer and more robust.

    Grind Size

    The coffee you brew will be significantly affected by the grind size since it exposes the flavors and aromatics that are locked within the coffee bean. The amount of ground that is exposed to water increases with the degree of grind. Thus, the finer the grind, the wider the surface area that the grounds are exposed to water. Additionally, the greater the exposure to water, the more caffeine will be extracted. 

    Make sure your coffee beans are always ground to the ideal size for your brewing device. This prevents over- and under-extraction, which is a simple error to avoid.

    Brewing Time

    Depending on the brewing method, the brewing time will vary. More caffeine is released when the brewing process is longer. As a result, longer contact durations between the water and the coffee during the brewing process typically (but not always) result in beverages with a higher caffeine level.

    Assuming all other factors are equal, the amount of caffeine in the final beverage increases with the length of brewing. But it’s believed that 90% of the caffeine is extracted in the first minute of brewing. Therefore, waiting longer could ruin the beverage’s flavor while only adding a small quantity of more caffeine.

    Brewing Method

    The amount of caffeine in each brew will differ depending on the brewing method used and other factors like the water to coffee ground ratio.

    Conclusion

    Coffee’s caffeine is a remarkable substance on its own. It can help you stay alert while performing everyday activities, improve your routine, and promote your health. However, excessive coffee drinking has the potential to be harmful to your health, just like any other excess of any substance.

    When you know how much of a psychoactive wake you want, it’s not that difficult to get the proper coffee bean or ground coffee, keeping everything about caffeine in mind.

    References

    [1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30137774/

    [2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17004850/

    [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7132598/

    [4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29590460/

    [5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24984989/

    [6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7353179/

    [7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30135386/

    [8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33992045/

    [9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23819683/

    [10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26339067/

    [11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27194895/

    [12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440772/

    [13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33557575/

    [14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33188952/

    [15] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29276945/

    [16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31055709/

    [17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765085/

    [18] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26568580/

    [19] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32638343/

    [20] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29876876/

    [21] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15983788/

    [22] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22341956/

    [23] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12204388/

    [24] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/advances-in-psychiatric-treatment/article/neuropsychiatric-effects-of-caffeine/7C884B2106D772F02DA114C1B75D4EBF

    [25] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27527212/

    [26] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26899133/

    [27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK223808/

    [28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3280075/

    [29] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10499460/

    [30] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1378422/

    [31] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9581985/

    [32] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27933125/

    [33] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1177987/

    [34] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16722996/

    [35] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28527645/

    [36] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26279469/

    [37] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27749954/

    [38] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19083466/

    [39] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26708636/

    [40] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19049813/

    [41] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24935999/

    [42] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077934/

    [43] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21346827/

    [44] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27867329/

    [45] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21611596/

    [46] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24079989/

    [47] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27802855/

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