Beware of Caffeine in Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt

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.

Is Caffeine a Cause of Urinary Incontinence?

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.

The Best Coffee Creamers, Drinks, and Sweeteners

The creamer aisle is hot. From caramel macchiato, crème brûlée, and white chocolate caramel latte to Almond Joy, Cinnabon, and Hershey’s, it’s no longer just a question of “Cream or sugar?”

And it’s not just creamer. Starbucks, Silk, International Delight, and others now sell ready-to-drink coffee in bottles, cartons, or cans. It’s a whole new Joe out there.

Here’s a quick cruise through the creamer and coffee aisles.