Today, caffeine is widely consumed as a favorite food and therapeutic drug. The amount of caffeine consumed worldwide is estimated at 120,000 tons per year, and chocolate, cola, soft drinks, and tonic drinks are gaining popularity. However, there are many concerns as caffeine may be adversely affected when consumed for a long time. Caffeine, which is high in coffee and tea, has its pros and cons.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a kind of alkaloid (a substance that contains nitrogen and is basic) contained in fruits, leaves, and seeds of some plants such as coffee and tea, and has a pharmacological effect that excites the central nervous system. It is absorbed into the human body in various forms such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, tonic drinks, and drugs. Caffeine is a white crystal with a bitter taste and is found in coffee seeds, tea leaves, cacao and cola, and mate tea. There are arousal, excitement, and diuretic effects. It is thought that human beings drink tea as a favorite drink because they feel refreshed by the action of caffeine.
Humans began to consume caffeine from the Stone Age. At first, the seeds, bark, and leaves of plants containing caffeine were chewed, and then gradually developed into a form of dipping in hot water. In 1819, the German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge first isolated relatively pure caffeine. He named it caffeine (kaffein in German) to mean a mixture in coffee.1
Benefits and risks of caffeine
Caffeine, which is contained in a lot of coffee and tea, acts on the central nervous system to awaken the mind and temporarily prevent drowsiness, so night drivers or test takers consume a lot of caffeine. Caffeine also promotes diuretic action. In addition, it has the effect of reducing fatigue, making it a favorite food for people. Caffeine-containing stimulants, stimulants, heart stimulants, diuretics, etc. are made and used for various purposes. The caffeine arousal effect also helps improve memory in people with dementia. Caffeine also relieves headaches.
However, high doses of caffeine over a long period of time can lead to caffeinism. Caffeine poisoning causes a variety of physical and mental symptoms, including irritability, anxiety, emotional disorder, increased blood pressure, chest palpitations, nervousness, insomnia, headache, anemia, poor growth, and osteoporosis. In addition, caffeine promotes gastric acid secretion, so taking a large amount for a long time can cause gastric ulcer, erosive esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Energy drinks also contain a lot of caffeine, so it is easy for children to consume caffeine when they drink energy drinks. Elementary school students are at increased risk of Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if they drink energy drinks daily. Therefore, to prevent children from eating caffeine, it is a good idea to make sure that caffeine is in the drink.
Caffeine interferes with the absorption of iron and calcium, causing anemia, poor growth, osteoporosis, etc., which interferes with growth, while also interfering with sound sleep, which can lead to hormonal imbalance and insomnia. Children and adolescents have a smaller body size than adults, so they can react more sensitively to caffeine.
The recommended daily dose of caffeine per adult is less than 400mg. A cup of Americano regular or tall (1 to 2 shots) contains about 70 to 150mg of caffeine, but if you increase the size or add a shot, caffeine intake increases. Nowadays, there are a lot of people who enjoy Americano, so Americano (Venti or Large) with 4 shots is popular. If you drank a lot of Americano today, I would recommend not to drink other drinks with caffeine.
The effect of caffeine on the human body depends on the individual’s body size and the degree of tolerance to caffeine, but I would recommend eating as much as possible. If you can take advantage of caffeine by taking the right amount, it will be a good way to eat. Protect your body’s health with moderate caffeine consumption.
Advice for caffeine consumption
- Consider caffeine intake time.
- Avoid caffeine food and drinks after 5pm. Caffeine comes into effect after 30 minutes when it enters the body, and the effect lasts for about 4 to 5 hours. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid caffeine intake 5 hours before falling asleep.
- Be careful with drugs that you should not take with caffeine.
- Caffeine drinks, antidepressants, painkillers, and cold medicines should not be taken together. Painkillers, cold medicines, etc. contain caffeine, so when consumed with beverages such as coffee, green tea, or cola, side effects such as palpitations, insomnia, dizziness may occur due to excessive caffeine.
- Check the caffeine in food and drink.
- The most basic action to avoid excessive caffeine consumption is to determine the amount of caffeine in foods and beverages. It is recommended to keep the recommended amount of caffeine consumed per person and replace it with decaf coffee, black tea, and herbal tea when drinking coffee.
- Exercise to speed up the breakdown of caffeine.
- It is good to exercise so that caffeine breaks down quickly in the liver.