How often during the week do you have caffeine? If you’re like most people in the world and especially most Americans, you have caffeine every single day. Many Americans cannot start their day without a morning coffee, and most teas and sodas also have a high amount of caffeine.
Stats To Know About Caffeine
To better understand the rise in popularity of caffeine and products that contain caffeine, consider some surprising and even shocking statistics. These better demonstrate the country’s love affair with the substance and show how popular it has been in times past as well as today, and how it affects a person’s overall health.
1. At least 68 million Americans drink three cups of coffee every single day.
2. Some 30 million Americans drink five or more cups of coffee every single day.
3. Over 21 million Americans drink six or more cups of coffee every day.
4. Too much caffeine can produce mood swings, insomnia, increased tension in the muscles, and also impair your digestion and nutrition absorption.
5. Caffeine is thought to reduce or restrict blood circulation to the brain; it also raises blood pressure and accelerates the heart rate to unnatural levels.
6. A controversial study released in 1998 by the National Institute for Environmental and Health Sciences claimed that women who consumed at least one cup of coffee per day were half as likely to become pregnant than women who did not drink coffee. The study also concluded that women who drank coffee while pregnant were 17% more likely to have their newborn die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. A study in New Zealand discredited the connection between low doses of caffeine and SIDS, but it did conclude that consuming 400mg of caffeine every day while pregnant may increase this risk due to the baby’s sudden withdrawal of caffeine after being born, leading to respiratory distress.
7. It’s believed that some 3 out of 4 regular caffeine users are actually addicted to the substance.
8. After addiction, withdrawal from the use of caffeine can cause mood swings and irritability, similar to the symptoms of withdrawing from a narcotic or alcohol.
9. Consuming as little as 200mg of caffeine every day can lead to addiction and altered chemistry in the brain. Another 100mg per day can lead to increased anxiety, panic disorders, muscle twitching, irregular heartbeat, flushed skin, depression, and even slurred speech.
10. Five grams of caffeine can be fatal. This is the equivalent of some 30-40 cups of regular coffee.
11. Some 50% of people who quit using caffeine experience severe headaches which typically last between 2 and 9 days. Half of people who quit also stated that they had difficulty avoiding the use of caffeine permanently.
12. Caffeine is a not a regulated substance so manufacturers are not legally required to label their products with caffeine content. Many studies suggest that caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world.
13. The substance is derived from over 60 various types of plants around the world.
14. Many experts believe caffeine to be a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to lose fluids. Some turn to caffeine to help them lose water weight, while some experts caution against its use so as to avoid dehydration.
15. Some believe that regular caffeine intake can help to ward off Parkinson’s disease and certain forms of cancer, as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
16. Some studies have shown long-term benefits to treating preterm infants with a caffeine substance.
17. In low doses, caffeine has been shown to improve one’s cognitive functions, increasing alertness.
18. Overdoses of caffeine can cause manic episodes, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, disorientation, and the lowering of one’s inhibitions.
19. Many caffeine users don’t realize that it is actually added to drinks like colas and other sodas. It is suggested by some that this is done because caffeine is addicting, the way cigarette manufacturers add addictive substances in order to keep their customer base.
20. The effects of caffeine on a person’s system can usually be felt within minutes of consuming it. Its peak effectiveness typically takes around 30 minutes, and the substance requires three to six hours to leave the body. This is one reason it’s often recommended that a person stop drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, so the body has time to flush it out of the system before trying to fall asleep at night.
21. Decaffeinated beverages may actually still contain trace amounts of caffeine. If caffeine occurs naturally in a substance such as coffee, it is treated with chemical that draw out large amounts of that caffeine but they may not be completely devoid of the substance.
22. Energy drinks are those with high volumes of caffeine; Red Bull is the most popular energy drink in the U.S., and in 2012 its sales were estimated at well over $2 trillion. Monster, the next most popular energy drink in the U.S., saw sales of around $1.27 trillion in that same year.
23. It’s estimated that the sales of energy drinks in the U.S. will reach well over $27 trillion by the year 2017.
24. Some 5% of adults consume 5-7 energy drinks every month. Over 2% of adults consume at least 10 energy drinks every month.
25. The brand 5-Hour Energy has 69mg of caffeine per serving; a shot of espresso has approximately 51mg, and a typical drip coffee has about 18mg per cup. Brewed tea has around 5mg per cup.
Sales and Industry Growth
The sale of coffee is a multi-trillion dollar business, and many homes in America today have a coffeemaker as well as an espresso machine or other appliance used for making specialty coffee beverages. These appliances have become very sophisticated over the years, with built-in timers and brewers that make personalized blends and drinks.
Caffeine can also be found in chocolate and is a primary ingredient in many energy drinks. It’s also been used to make diet pills and weight loss supplements, and pills that are designed to keep a person awake. These may be used by those working a nightshift or by those studying for an exam.
Caffeine works as a stimulant and gives you a jolt of energy due to an increased heart rate. Despite this benefit, it also has many side effects that can interfere with good health and especially with a good night’s sleep, and some people also find it to be addictive.
One surprising fact about caffeine is that many people don’t think of it as being addictive, and they don’t realize the damage it can do to one’s health. Caffeine is readily available in many different drinks and food products, and is not considered a controlled substance. Labels often typically don’t list the caffeine content of foods and beverages the way they might the calories and fat grams. Because of this, consumers often dismiss the substance as being harmless.
The rise in popularity of specialty coffee shops like Starbucks and Java Joe’s have made caffeinated drinks even more popular in recent years. Sugary coffee drinks like iced coffee have also made it more popular with teens, and young adults are splurging on caffeinated drinks more often than ever before. Some companies have even begin selling caffeine on its own, in products that resemble asthma inhalers and which deliver a concentrated shot of the substance directly to one’s nostrils. It has also been added to products like lip gloss and even chewing gum.
While caffeine in large amounts can be very harmful to one’s health and withdrawal from caffeine can be difficult, many who reduce their consumption find that they can be successful in stopping altogether. In many cases a slow withdrawal can be the best choice; as with tobacco, a person might consider slowly stepping down their consumption until they are completely free of caffeine and its use.
It’s also good for consumers to understand the side effects of caffeine withdrawal so that they know what to expect. Headaches are very common when someone gives up caffeine altogether, and an aspirin without caffeine can help alleviate the pain. Irritability is also common, and keeping busy can reduce the mood swings a person might experience.
To help draw out caffeine from the body, it’s also recommended that a person drink copious amounts of water. Water flushes out toxins and forces a person to urinate. Caffeine will also be flushed out with these toxins and in a person’s urine. Regular exercise can also help with caffeine withdrawal as this will raise a person’s heart rate and also cause them to sweat. Caffeine can be pulled out of the system through sweat, and this elevated heart rate can mimic the effects of caffeine.
Exercising also keeps a person occupied so that they don’t feel as nervous or anxious as they would when withdrawing from caffeine. Regular exercise can also increase a person’s metabolism so they get the energy they would otherwise get from caffeinated drinks.
It can also be good to avoid anything that might stimulate a craving for caffeine, for example, avoiding going near coffee shops so as to avoid the smell of coffee. Changing a person’s habits can also help to cut back on caffeine; if you’re accustomed to having coffee in the morning before heading off to work, leave early instead. Head to the gym on Saturday morning when you would otherwise be enjoying a leisurely cup on the patio.
These tips may sound simple but like cutting back on smoking or drinking, they can be effective if applied. Asking for help can also make it easier to cut back on caffeine; friends and family can avoid bringing over their coffee drinks and can also be helpful in keeping a person busy as they’re trying to withdraw from caffeine.