In moderate doses, caffeine has been known to boost concentration, memory, and mental health. Of course, coffee has also been known to reduce the risks of many diseases as well. Here are 10 facts about one of the most well-known components of coffee:
1. Most decafs are not caffeine-free, and many of them contain between 8.6-13.9 mg of caffeine per cup. However, Swiss-Water Decaffeinated options are in fact, caffeine-free, and HealthWise offers this type of decaf.
2. Caffeine starts working almost immediately. It takes 30-60 minutes for caffeine to reach its peak level in the blood, but increased alertness can begin in as few as 10 minutes. Some people are more sensitive to the effects than others, especially those who don’t regularly consume it. To avoid wakefulness at night, plan to avoid caffeine for 8 hours before bedtime.
3. Caffeine affects everyone differently, and this can vary by gender, race, and lifestyle habits.
4. Some energy drinks contain less caffeine than coffee. Some have fewer than 100 mg of caffeine (compared to up to 200 mg in a cup of coffee), but they do have tons of sugar and unnatural ingredients, so coffee is a healthier choice anyway.
5. Dark roasts have less caffeine than lighter ones. The roasting process for darker roasts burns off more caffeine, although because of the bolder flavors one might think they are more caffeinated.
6. Caffeine is found in more than 60 plants. Tea leaves, kola nuts (which flavor colas), and cocoa beans all contain caffeine. It’s also found in leaves, seeds, and fruits of many plants, and can be manually added to products.
7. Not all coffees have the same caffeine content. Many brands vary, from 8 mg per fluid ounce to a whopping 54.2 mg per ounce. Of course, this also depends on how it’s brewed.
8. The average American consumes 200 mg of caffeine per day. (About two five-ounce cups of coffee, or four sodas.) Moderate consumption is considered 200-300 mg/day according to the Mayo Clinic.
9. According to a BBC article, Finland has the highest caffeine consumption, with the average adult consuming about 400 mg per day.
10. Caffeine is found in much more than just coffee! Teas, chocolate, and many medications also contain it.