– “The Jitter Drug"
How much Caffeine in . . . ?
Caffeine is powerful
drug and its chronic excess consumption can lead to caffeinism
Detrimental effects of Caffeine in the Body
is an alkaloid found naturally in coffee beans, cacao beans and the tea plant
(Camellia sinensis) –
is also added to some soft drinks and
Caffeine is is well known and used for its
stimulating properties - and is considered to be the most commonly used
psychoactive drug in the world consumed in behaviorally active doses
for health effects of caffeine are mixed and inconclusive and also affect
different people to varying degrees –
controversial studies include
those on caffeine’s both positive and negative effects on cancer,
hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease,
pregnancy complications, eating disorders, depressive disorders
(including suicidal effects)
Some studies claim regular coffee consumption
reduces the risk for heart disease and diabetes
The New York Times, Fitness and Nutrition, Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies
Find Some Benefits, Nicholas Bakalar
Studies conflict on mental
health – study (n=32) finds that drinking 2 cups of coffee
may hamper short-term word recall . Ms.
Lesk reports in Behavioral Neuroscience that she believes that caffeine improves
alertness by shutting down other brain pathways.
Lesk, Valerie E.; Womble, Stephen P.
Caffeine, Priming, and Tip of the Tongue: Evidence for Plasticity in the
Phonological System. Behavioral
Neuroscience, Vol 118(3), Jun 2004, 453-461.
Another small study (n= 15) found
that a couple cups of coffee per day could improve your short-term memory
Koppelstaetter, F et al. "Influence of Caffeine Excess on Activation Patterns in
Verbal Working Memory"
Institute on Health Effects of Coffee/Caffeine
However, as with most foods, the health-beneficial
effects of caffeine are generally seen when:
Caffeine is consumed
in moderation and in its
whole form -
as opposed to being isolated from its source.
Caffeine source is
crops are notoriously known for being sprayed heavily with pesticides.
Christian Science Monitor reports that
non-organic coffee farmers use up to 250# chemical fertilizers/acre.
Christian Science Monitor December 29, 2009
Coffee and Cacao beans are
freshly ground –
to avoid rancidity of
their fatty acids
non-decaffeinated – decaffeination
antioxidants, which are a likely reason for health benefits derived from
caffeinated drinks; however, if consuming too many caffeinated drinks,
then switching to “decaf” after your daily caffeine quota, can avoid
Generally, health benefits are small compared to
its detrimental effects – and any professed
benefits can be achieved by other, less risky methods;
In pregnancy or nursing, it is probably a good
idea to limit caffeine beverages to 2 cups or less /day -
even though data is equivocal, just the
pesticide presence in coffee should be enough of
a deterrent; Caffeine (a stimulant drug) easily traverses the placental
barrier to access developing fetus and is also transferred via breast milk.
Coffee – The most popular drink in the world
400 billion cups / year drunk worldwide
Top 100 Expresso – 2012 Report
>50% of adult U.S. population drink coffee everyday –
400 million cups/day.
Tea, chocolate and coffee either directly contain
the stimulants theobromine and theophylline or they are metabolized from
caffeine (the liver metabolizes
caffeine into 10% theobromine and 4% theophylline)
large amounts found in cacoa beans and small amounts in tea leaves; used for
vasodilation, as a diuretic, as a myocardial (i.e. heart muscle) stimulant
(increases heartbeat rate), as an antitussive by suppressing vagus nerve
activity (superior to codeine at reducing coughs
Imperial College of London Study, 2004),
can treat asthma, since it relaxes bronchial
found in small amounts in tea and cacao beans; used in therapeutic amounts for
respiratory diseases, including COPD and asthma, due to its ability to relax
bronchial smooth muscle and to stimulate the medullary respiratory center
How much Caffeine in . . . ?
Experts generally recommend an intake
of less than ~300mg of caffeine each day
Caffeine in Some Popular Drinks / Foods
6 oz drip-brewed Robusta
6 oz drip-brewed Arabica
1 oz shot espresso coffee
6 oz instant coffee
6 oz 97% decaf coffee
6 oz Euro-standard decaf
6 oz hot cocoa
6 oz soda drink (Coke,
Pepsi and Mountain Dew)
6 oz green tea
6 oz black tea
6 oz bar dark chocolate
6 oz bar milk chocolate
Younger leaves and buds of tea plant
contain more caffeine per weight than older leaves and stems.
Caffeine is powerful drug and its chronic excess consumption can lead to
Regardless of its contraversially purported
health benefits, caffeine is a powerful drug –
and as such its intake should be limited to less than 250-300
mg/day, or even avoided completely by some people, or at the very least should
not consumed in the late afternoon or
evening, which may cause insomnia;
Chronic caffeine consumption in excess of 250-300
mg / day can lead to a condition called CAFFEINISM
in additon to causing dependency
(which can cause
uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms), the
undesireable symptoms of caffeinism can
A rise in blood pressure and stress hormone
FEELINGS OF JITTERINESS, irritability,
restlessness and nervousness
Possible depressive and eating disorders
Symptoms of anxiety -
especially if already susceptible
Depletion of iron and calcium levels in women
Depletion of magnesium
Iancu I, Olmer A, Strous RD (2007). "Caffeinism: History,
clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment". In Smith BD, Gupta U, Gupta BS.
Caffeine and activation theory: effects on health and behavior. CRC Press.
With repetitive use,
likely to occur
of the equivalent dose level of only 1 cup of coffee
(or 3 cans of
caffeinated soda per day)
can cause caffeine addiction that would trigger
Studeville, George. “Caffeine Addiction Is a Mental
Disorder, Doctors Say.” National Geographic. Jan. 15, 2010.
time the stimulatory effects of caffeine are substantially reduced -
as some people (especially heavy caffeine users) develop a
tolerance to its effects
about caffeine dependence
Some coffee drinkers develop tolerance to
its sleep-disrupting effects -
some do not
Fredholm BB, Bättig K, Holmén J, Nehlig A, Zvartau EE
(1999). "Actions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that
contribute to its widespread use". Pharmacol. Rev. 51 (1): 83–133.
headache, irritability, fatigue/drowsiness, “downer” mood changes, inability to
concentrate, muscle stiffness/pain, flu-like feelings, pain in stomach and/or
upper body, nausea/vomiting, craving for coffee/tea; may occur 12-24 hours after
discontinuation of caffeine intake, peak at roughly 48 hours, and usually last
from 2 to 9 days.
Juliano LM, Griffiths RR (2004). "A
critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and
signs, incidence, severity, and associated features".
Psychopharmacology (Berl.) 176 (1): 1–29.
The fact that these symptoms occur when caffeine
consumption is stopped should be cause for concern
Cause of caffeine
withdrawal headache has an ironic twist – habitual caffeine intake causes
brain’s blood vessels to stay constricted, thereby reducing the normal, healthy
blood flow to the brain. When caffeine intake stops, the blood vessels dilate to
resume their normal blood flow, which causes the throbbing pain until the brain
again gets used to the normalcy.
Caffeine is possibly
consumed to stave off withdrawal symptoms rather than for enjoyment – there is
also the possibility of a circling loop whereby caffeine causes insomnia that
leaves you waking up tired and thus needing more caffeine as a stimulant
Griffiths R, Juliano (2004): Psychopharmacology; A
Critical Review of Caffeine Withdrawal; Sept. 21, 2004
are now attributed to caffeine withdrawal (not anaesthesia)
DECAFFEINATED BEVERAGES LOSE THEIR
Decaffeination process for tea and
coffee loses their health-beneficial antioxidant bioflavonoids
there are three main processes used for decaffeination
direct solvent method
is preferred by manufacturers because it's the most affordable and has the
capacity to remove the highest percentage of caffeine.
water processing are safer options since they do not utilize hazardous chemical solvents.
Direct solvent method -
a technique that uses methylene
chloride (which the FDA banned in hairsprays and cosmetics due to
inhalation risks), coffee oil, or ethyl
acetate (a low-toxicity solvent naturally present in wines) to dissolve
and extract caffeine from the coffee.
Studies show no evidence of methylene toxiicity -
Methylene chloride decaffeination: bad process: or bad press?
by Shea Sturdivant in the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, only minute traces of the
chemical are left after the process is complete. "Methylene chloride evaporates
at 100 to 200 [degrees] F; beans are usually roasted at temperature of 350 to
425 °F, and coffee is brewed at 190 to 212 °F. Any amounts of methylene chloride
left in brewed coffee would be less than one part per million."
Also, "According to a report published on
August 9, 1985, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, studies of
rats fed regular and decaffeinated coffee (at doses equivalent to 70 or 80 cups
of coffee per day) or fed methylene chloride in their drinking water (at doses
equivalent to 125,000 to 6,250,000 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day) showed
no evidence of carcinogenicity. . . .
Hence, scientific evidence suggests that methylene chloride is safe for
use as a solvent in decaffeinating coffee."
(technically known as supercritical fluid extraction) - uses a pressurized
method with a water or charcoal filtration to remove the caffeine.
Swiss Water Process -
simply uses water and a carbon filtration system to remove the caffeine.
Detrimental effects of Caffeine in the
Caffeine is a BRAIN stimulant
Caffeine is rapidly and 99% absorbed –
first in the stomach and small
intestine and then distributed to all tissues, including through the blood brain
barrier to the brain and across the placental barrier.
At typical daily intake levels, caffeine opposes the
neuroinhibitory effect of adenosine by blocking adenosine receptors –
Adenosine (a compound endogenous
to the body) mostly inhibits the response of neurons to neurotransmitters, thus
the effects of adenosine antagonism by
caffeine are generally stimulatory.
James JE. Critical review of dietary caffeine and blood pressure: a relationship
that should be taken more seriously. Psychosom Med. 2004;66(1):63-71. (PubMed)
Fredholm BB, Battig K, Holmen J, Nehlig A, Zvartau EE: Actions of caffeine in
the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread
use. Pharmacol Rev 51:83–133, 1999
Abstract/FREE Full Text
Caffeine increases “FIGHT or FLIGHT”
Caffeine intake aggravates physical, mental, and emotional stress
Caffeine and other ingredients found in coffee
(also in decaffeinated
have been shown to increase stress response -
Caffeine elevates the catecholamines (hormonal
neurotransmitters) EPINEPHRINE and
the stress hormone CORTISOL, creating
an emergency “fight or flight” reaction in the body, including increased heart
rate, blood pressure, and a sense of “emergency alert”,
often seen as
hyperactivity, anxiety, or panic disorder.
William R. Lovallo ,
Noha H. Farag,
Andrea S. Vincent,
Terrie L. Thomas,
Michael F. Wilson.
Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine
intake in men and women.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior,
Volume 83, Issue 3, March 2006, pp. 441–447.
CORTISOL response is reduced
(but not eliminated) by caffeine tolerance after about 5 days of
regular intake –
by healthy men and women
William R. Lovallo,
Thomas L. Whitsett,
Bong Hee Sung,
Andrea S. Vincent,
Michael F. Wilson. Caffeine Stimulation
of Cortisol Secretion Across the Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake
September 1, 2005 vol. 67
no. 5 734-739
Caffeine inhibits our “feel good” brain
messenger GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid),
which plays an important role in mood and stress management -
Caffeine does this indirectly as a domino effect of blocking adenosine
(made from GLUTAMATE) is an inhibitory
neurotransmitter (i.e. blocks nerve impulses)
in the brain and has a calming effect -
GLUTAMATE does the opposite
and is an excitatory neurotransmitter, encouraging neurons to “fire” and send a
activity causes nerve cells to “fire” too often, causing anxiety disorders;
Lack of GABA can trigger stress or
emotional eating - which leads to weight gain,
and also the reason why you go for the ice cream or cookies when feeling down;
Caffeine depletes magnesium
The body’s magnesium is depleted by production of
the stress hormones CORTISOL and the
catecholamines EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE -
which prepare the body for the “fight-or-fight” response and are produced when
caffeine increases stress levels in the body
magnesium levels wreak havoc in the cardiac system and most all other areas of
Health benefits of Mg
Functions of Mg in the Body
Caffeine sabotages weight-loss efforts
Limiting your caffeine intake can better control your appetite
and help curb food cravings.
Caffeine Stimulates Appetite and Food cravings
Caffeine triggers hypoglycemia and an urge to eat
- low blood sugar has symptoms
including dizziness and light-headedness. The body’s reaction to hypoglycemia
results in food cravings for higher calorie foods and increased appetite,
leading to weight gain.
Increase Body Fat -
Increased stress and
CORTISOL alerts the body to increase its energy stores which results in
increased appetite and food cravings, especially for sweets.
that prolonged elevated
CORTISOL levels increase the deposit of fat
in the deep belly area. Abdominal fat is also associated with increased health
risks, such as CVD and diabetes.
Caffeine raises blood sugar levels / disrupts INSULIN function
and increases INSULIN resistance (IR)
High-dose caffeine (~6
produces temporary IR –
inducing “fight-or-flight” response, caffeine raises
blood sugar to supply the energy needed for running from the proverbial
saber-toothed tiger or else fighting off the foe. With chronic caffeine
consumption this can lead to IR with the ongoing production of
INSULIN to remove the never-ending supply of
is a condition that reduces the body’s ability to use
effectively, resulting in a build-up of
in the blood – increasing the risk
of developing Type II Diabetes and numerous other health problems
Caffeine can decrease insulin sensitivity in humans. Diabetes Care, 2002, Vol
25, Iss 2, pp 364-369. GB Keijzers, BE DeGalan, CJ Tack, P Smits. Smits P, Univ
Nijmegen, Med Ctr, Dept Pharmacol Toxicol 233, POB 9101, NL-6500 HB Nijmegen,
Diabetics should avoid or
cut back on caffeine – Lane et al found that although caffeine did
not affect blood sugar of Type 2 diabetics during fasting, a 125 mg dose
before a meal did significantly impair sugar metabolism of the meal
compared to placebo.
Lane, J. Diabetes Care, August 2004; vol 27. News release, Duke University.
National Sleep Foundation. WebMD Medical News: "Specialty Coffee's Caffeine Jolt
CAFFEINE AFFECTS SLEEP
Caffeine intake can cause
insomnia and sleep deprivation in some people - both of which have
been found to increase IR.
Coffee and caffeine: Sleep and wakefulness. in
Coffee, Caffeine and Health, ed
S (Raven Press,
New York), pp
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Caffeine Does NOT DEHYDRATE YOU
Except short-term for those who have not formed a tolerance for it
Sufficient doses of
caffeine increase urination –
but regular consumption of caffeine develops immunity to this diuretic effect
Ganio MS. Caffeine, fluid-electrolyte balance, temperature regulation, and
Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2007 Jul;35(3):135-40.
Maughan RJ, et al. Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: A review. Journal of
Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2003;16:411.
Caffeine increases stomach acidity
Even 1 small cup of coffee
(~100 mg caffeine) can stimulate gastric
acid production enough to irritate a stomach ulcer –
you have a stomach ulcer, you should avoid caffeine;
University of Utah College of Pharmacy
Increased stomach acid after a meal can enhance
Caffeine = Stress -► Aging + Degeneration +
Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands to
produce stress hormones
Caffeine + Stress
DHEA ↓ - which reduces GROWTH HORMONE and INSULIN_LIKE GROWTH
FACTOR-1 important for body repairs
Elevated stress hormones,
poor nutrition and low DHEA -►
impaired immunity –
seen when the elderly succumb to infectious diseases, such as flu and
Type A’s face a double
whammy concerning depletion of vital Mg –Type A’s /Stressed types are more
likely to indulge in caffeine – and both the caffeine and the stress will deplete Mg
(research has found that Type A’s lose significant amounts of Mg when under
stress, compared to easy-going Type B’s)
Overstimuated adrenal glands -►
adrenal “burn-out” and depleted adrenal hormones
(Necessary for vitality)
Adrenal EXHAUSTION -►
as a substitute for depleted adrenal hormones –
PROGESTERONE is then not available to effectively do its job of balancing
estrogen, which can lead to
estrogen dominance with all its inherent
risks, including osteoporosis and cancer
Caffeine disrupts calcium ion flow through caffeine-sensitive calcium release
channels in skeletal muscle –
causing skeletal muscle to contract or
Caffeine is actually a
smooth muscle relaxant – it does
not have caffeine-sensitive calcium release channels
Tension in neck, back, shoulder, wrist
(CTS/carpal tunnel syndrome),
muscle pain after exertion –
relate to increased sensitivity to
caffeine. Reduce tension by eliminating caffeine.
A study of 1500 office
workers found caffeine intake to be the primary risk-factor for CTS -
after removing non-smokers from the data pool.
Chronic back pain
sufferers found to consume double the amount of caffeine (avg. 400mg/day) compared to matched
controls without back pain - It
is possible that those with back pain drink more caffeine to cope with pain,
however, when caffeine was administered to volunteers, a significant percentage
registered head and neck pain.
Caffeine restricts blood flow to the brain
Caffeine has a powerful vasoconstrictive effect in the brain –
250mg caffeine consumed by mother is
enough to reduce cerebral blood flow by 30% in a preterm infant;
Hoecker C, Nelle M, Poeschl J, Beedgen B.
Linderkamp O (2002): Caffeine impairs cerebral and intestinal blood flow
velocity in preterm infant. Pediatrics 109: 784-787.
Headache caused by
caffeine, ultimately then promoted by pain-meds taken – caffeine
depletes blood levels of ionized magnesium, whose low levels are noticed in
headache sufferers. Analgesics are given to reduce pain, but > 95% of analgesics
contain caffeine. Analgesics/caffeine keep cerebral blood vessels constricted
until the supply stops, then the dilation brings on another headache, keeping
you an ongoing analgesic “user”. The sensible solution is to simply stop the
Caffeine RAISES HOMOCYSTEINE LEVELS
homocysteine levels – involved in low-level chronic inflammation
seen in heart disease, blood vessel degeneration in the eyes and a wide range of
serious conditions.. Caffeine interferes with your body’s ability to use folate,
and vitamins B12 and B6. Your body needs these nutrients in order to keep your
homocysteine level in the healthy range.
Caffeine constricts blood vessels reducing circulation
Increases blood pressure
- an added detriment to people with
T2D, who already have impaired peripheral circulation;
Decreases oxygen delivery
– lowers cellular energy
production. Reduced oxygen to the
brain causes headaches