Caffeine

Janis Hunter,
Home & Garden Information Center

People have enjoyed caffeinated beverages since ancient times. Caffeine is a mild central nervous system stimulant that provides the safe kick that some people need to get started. It can help to fight fatigue, boost physical endurance, and enhance mental abilities and mood.

Coffee is the most popular item consumed at breakfast in the United States. It is the main dietary source of caffeine for adults, followed by soft drinks, tea and chocolate. Soft drinks are the primary source of caffeine for children ages 2 to 17 and have overtaken tea as the second source of caffeine for young and middle-age adults.

Read product labels and be aware of caffeine’s numerous sources. It is also found in: non-cola soft drinks, like root beer and orange soda; chocolate and coffee-flavored candy; caffeinated water; many over-the-counter and prescription drugs; a growing number of foods; and “energy drinks,” which typically contain about 80 mg of caffeine. The amount of caffeine in food products varies depending on serving size, type of product and method of preparation.

Refer to HGIC 4152, Caffeine to find out how many milligrams of caffeine are found in specific foods and beverages, whether caffeine affects health and the symptoms of caffeine sensitivity.

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