How harmful is caffeine really?

No scientific evidence has been found to link moderate caffeine intake to any disease, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic breast disease, or birth defects. In varying degrees, however, excessive caffeine intake may cause “coffee jitters,” anxiety, and insomnia. These physical effects don’t last long because most caffeine is eliminated.

Caffeinated beverages are not the best source of liquid, since caffeine can have a diuretic effect. Of course, this depends on the quantity consumed. The more coffee you drink, the higher your caffeine intake, and the greater the water loss.

When coffee is prepared in a cafeteria, a percolator or by the espresso method, two chemicals are released which raise the level of blood cholesterol, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. However, these chemicals are eliminated when coffee is filtered through a paper, and also during the manufacture of instant coffee.

Women should be careful not to drink too much coffee. Women who regularly drink more than three or four cups a day face a greater risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones) after menopause.

Coffee is among the most commonly cited migraine triggers. Many people find that it causes sleeplessness if drunk too late at night.

Does chocolate contain a lot of caffeine?

A little, but nowhere near coffee levels.

Both an 8-ounce (240 ml) carton of chocolate milk and a 1-ounce (30 gm) milk chocolate bar contain about 5 milligrams of caffeine, compared with 115 milligrams of caffeine in 5 ounces (150 ml) of regular-brew coffee.

What is the caffeine content of different foods?

Coffee, Brewed, 1 cup 103 mg
Coffee, Percolator, 1 cup 75 mg
Coffee, Instant, 1 cup 57 mg
Coffee, Decaffeinated, 1 cup 2 mg
Tea, Brewed, 1 cup 36 mg
Tea, Instant, 1 cup 25-35 mg
Cola Beverages, Regular or Diet, 330 ml 35-50 mg
Chocolate milk, 1 glass 8 mg
Milk Chocolate, Sweet, Dark, 30gm 8-20 mg
Baking chocolate, unsweetened 58 mg



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Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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