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Caffeine: How much do you know about America’s favorite breakfast drug?

Is caffeine part of your Breakfast of Champions?  It is for me – but is that necessarily a bad thing?

In honor of Caffeine Awareness Month, it’s Caffeine Confession Time (and just an FYI I’m writing this as I sip my iced coffee):

Sometimes I just stand in front of the coffee aisle so I can breathe in the aroma.

I’ve tried to make a body scrub out of the millions of gallons of used coffee grounds that I create.  It made a huge mess on my skin, and in my shower.

Coffee grounds do make great compost though.  I’m waiting for my lemon tree to produce coffee-scented Meyer lemons.

When I go on vacation, I pack a huge Ziploc bag of coffee in my suitcase.  Just in case there isn’t a Starbucks within a stone’s throw on my hotel room.

I can’t start my day without a large cup of the stuff!

I know I’m not alone.  Millions (probably billions) of us start the day with a good strong cup of coffee.  Yes, I do love the aroma, and oh, those first few sips…  But let’s admit it, it’s the caffeine we crave, and whether we know it or not, we’re addicted to it.  So in honor of Caffeine Awareness Month, here are a few facts about caffeine.  Don’t worry – you won’t have to quit!

 

  • Caffeine has been noted to increase blood pressure in those who are not regular coffee drinkers.  Luckily for the rest of us, it has a minor effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers
  • Coffee, but not necessarily caffeine, has been shown to improve blood glucose in those with diabetes, reduce the risk of liver disease, reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and all in all, coffee consumption appears to reduce the risk of death from several diseases, including heart disease
  • More research is needed to determine whether there is a safe amount of caffeine for children.  Too much caffeine, especially in the evening can interfere with sleep, and it can increase anxiety in children and adolescents. There are NO health benefits to energy drinks and caffeinated soft drinks for anyone, especially children
  • Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the caffeine from decaffinated coffee and other beverages?  Check out this fascinating article on it from NPR’s The Salt

 

 

Do you buy it or make it yourself?  Drink up and eat well!

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5 Comments

  1. Great post. I appreciate the input about kids and caffeine. With the proliferation of a ‘coffee culture’ with so many Starbucks, etc., I think we need to do more education around coffee and children. There’s also the fact that so many of the coffee drinks kids are attracted to are also loaded with sugar.

    1. I completely agree – I’ll bet that many kids get far more caffeine throughout the day than most adults do from our coffee. Thanks for chiming in Katie!

  2. I am a dietitian and often hear from pregnant women that they really miss a morning coffee rituals. It is true that caffeine crosses the placenta, but in fact they can still enjoy a brew – just need to watch the quantity. Experts (from national and international societies) say, that moderate levels of caffeine have not been found to have a negative effect on pregnancy and moderate varies from 150 mg – 300 mg a day. It means double espresso or even Starbucks Tall is still okay.

    1. Thanks for the advice Kate! I think coffee is like everything else – great in moderation. I also tell pregnant women one small to medium is OK.

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