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Caffeine in Food

Find out if caffeine is the new wonder drug in our food supply. Is it harmful or helpful? And get detailed information, complete with charts, about how much caffeine is in the foods you eat and in the beverages you drink.

Beware of These Effects of Caffeine on the Body

Like any drug, the effects of caffeine on the body are not wholly good or bad. Here are the facts.

Caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States and the least regulated one.

Up until about two decades ago, the only foods with added caffeine were soft drinks. And the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limited their amount of caffeine to 48 milligrams per eight ounces.

That changed in 1997, when the first popular energy drink—an Austrian import called Red Bull— landed on our shores. Every 8.4-ounce can of the sweetened fortified water contains 80 mg of caffeine.   Read More

Truths About the Benefits of Green Tea

You've heard about the benefits of green tea, but is it much ado about nothing?

Green tea is hot. You can buy a bottled green tea beverage just about anywhere these days. And food manufacturers are adding green tea or its extracts to everything from coffee to juice drinks.

How good is the evidence regarding the benefits of green tea and your health? Studies in laboratory animals are impressive, but compelling evidence in humans has been hard to come by.

Drinking tea regularly may be one of the most practical lifestyle changes you can make to significantly reduce your risk of suffering a stroke,” says epidemiologist Lenore Arab of the University of California at Los Angeles. Arab co-chaired the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health in 2007.   Read More

Want to Know How Much Caffeine is in Tea?

How much caffeine is in tea? Is tea really good for me? Let's take a look.

Tea is in. The average American drinks some 155 cups a year. That makes tea the country’s fourth most popular beverage, after water, soft drinks, and coffee.

There is no doubt that tea is an invigorating drink – probably due to how much caffeine is in tea (about half the caffeine of coffee).

And the national waistline would be far better off if we replaced some of that soda with tea (provided we sipped it with little or no sugar).   Read More

8 Examples of When Caffeine is Good for You

Have another cup and relax; caffeine is good for you*

Most people rely on caffeine to stay alert. But researchers suggest that it may do far more—lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease and gallstones, for example. Here’s what you may not know about the times that caffeine is good for you.

* This information does not apply to women who are pregnant (or trying to become pregnant) or to children. Nor does it apply to caffeine powder or highly concentrated liquid caffeine, which can be lethal.   Read More

Beware of Caffeine in Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

Sometimes there's caffeine in ice cream and that's why you can't fall asleep when you have an icy late night snack.

More than 80 percent of American adults consume caffeine regularly. That’s no surprise, what with a coffee shop seemingly on every corner and in every supermarket, and tiny $3 bottles of 5-hour Energy popping up like mushrooms wherever there’s a checkout counter. It turns out, though, that there is also caffeine in ice cream and frozen yogurt.

How does caffeine work in the body?

Caffeine works mainly by temporarily binding to adenosine receptors in the brain. That prevents adenosine, which is a natural sedative produced by the brain, from occupying those receptors and making us feel drowsy. Adenosine levels build up during waking hours and then drop as we sleep.

People who don’t use caffeine regularly and who haven’t developed a dependence on it “usually become significantly more alert and better able to perform cognitive and motor tasks – such as paying attention during boring tasks or typing – if they’re given the right dose of caffeine,” says Laura Juliano, a professor of psychology at American University in Washington, D.C.

  Read More

Is Caffeine a Cause of Urinary Incontinence?

If your morning coffee is causing urinary incontinence, kick the caffeine habit and exercise your pelvic muscles.

According to the International Continence Society (ICS), incontinence is the “involuntary loss of urine that is a social or hygienic problem and is objectively demonstrable.” Urinary incontinence is most commonly a result of bladder dysfunction, sphincter dysfunction, or a combination of both. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of middle-aged women and 50 percent of older women experience urinary leakage.

The problem is less common in men, but does increase with age. Even so, older men experience severe urinary incontinence at only about half the rate of women. Despite the prevalence of this health problem, it is still a “don’t ask, don’t tell” issue.

“In our study of nurses, less than 50 percent of the women who had incontinence reported it to their doctors,” says Mary Townsend, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

It is a sensitive issue, for sure, but what is the cause of urinary incontinence? Leaks are more common in women who are older, heavier, or smokers, and in those who have had more children, diabetes, or a hysterectomy.   Read More

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