Top 7 Common Questions about Caffeine in Coffee


As alternatives have you considering just ordering a drip coffee instead of something tastier such as a cappuccino or latte because you don’t want to have a large dose of caffeine in your body?

If caffeine is good or bad for you, how long it stays in your body and why is it addictive? Does it really increase your metabolic rate?  If it is good for you, how much caffeine in coffee you should take?

If you have above questions once pop up in your mind. Go through us by the answer to the top 7 most common questions about caffeine in coffee. With simple terms as possible, next time you are more confident while drinking coffee.

How does caffeine affect your body and brain?

Research has found positive impacts of caffeine on the brain, body and central nervous system.  That feeling of pleasure is produced by increased dopamine in the brain, closely associated with positive emotions and happiness.

Increased dopamine, a neurotransmitter, increases the heart rate, which in turn delivers more oxygen to the muscles.  Increased oxygen to muscles in an increase of energy which provides the ability to be more active and therefore uses up the stores of carbohydrates and sugar held by the body.

More research has found that caffeine enables the brain to function better, specifically by increasing our attention span due to caffeine reducing tiredness.  Research also found that caffeine improves reaction time, including a study on long distance driver.

Caffeine can help to reduce weight, firstly because it provides more energy which enables more physical activity.  Be more active means carbohydrates and sugars and burned off quicker through exercise.  Also, caffeine in coffee has been found to be an appetite suppressant, which also will help to reduce weight.

Research compared the coffee consumption by 494 people who lost weight and 2129 people who did not lose weight and found that those lost weights consumed more caffeine.

How much caffeine a day is too much?

The European Food Safety Authority found that daily intake for most healthy adults, except for pregnant women, is 400mg with a recommendation.  How that translates into physical consumption is about 5.2 shots of espresso, 1 of a Starbucks Venti brewed coffee.

The recommended daily intake of caffeine for young people should be less than 100mg.  Mixing caffeine with alcohol is to be avoided because it can be a diuretic leading to dehydration.  Some people are prone to side effects from a heavy caffeine intake such as headaches, insomnia, fast heartbeat, muscle tremors.  For people not used to drinking caffeine the likelihood of side effects is increased.

If you are taking medication it is advisable to consult with your doctor as the combination of caffeine and some drugs could increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and another.

Expert advice recommends pregnant women consume less than 200mg a day, equal to 12 oz cup of coffee.  Whilst there are no studies that have been conducted on humans linking birth defects, reduced fertility, and low birth weights etc, the APA advises against pregnant women consuming caffeine and breastfeeding mothers.

How long does caffeine last?

Remember Chemistry lessons at school?  You may have heard about ‘half-life’.  This is the term that describes the period of life of elements and compounds.  How it works for caffeine is that the half-life is approximately 5 hours.  If you consume 50mg of caffeine in coffee there will be 25mg in your body 5 hours later.  If you do not consume any drink with caffeine for a further 5 hours then there will be 12.5mg of caffeine in your body.

Caffeine is absorbed by the body quite quickly and within 45 minutes the levels of caffeine are at the highest.  The fast absorption rate explains why you will feel the effects of improved energy levels and mood enhancement.

Some people may have a sickly feeling in the stomach which is linked to the digestive system.  If you are suffering from dehydration a drink containing caffeine may not be the right drink to reach for as it can be a diuretic, meaning you will find yourself going to the lavatory more frequently.

Depending on any health conditions, such as issues with kidneys and liver, you may need to be cautious about your intake of caffeine.

What Factors Affect Caffeine Content?

The level of caffeine in coffee is dependent on a number of factors:

  • Type of coffee beans:  Arabica and Robusta are two main types of beans that are used to make coffee.  Arabica beans are higher quality beans and the Robusta beans contain higher levels of caffeine.  The Arabica beans are sweeter than the strong, bitterness of the Robusta beans that you are more familiar with.  Robusta beans are easier to farm and are more widely grown globally, therefore the Arabica beans are more expensive.
  • Roasting:   Light roast beans and dark roast beans actually contain the same amount of caffeine in coffee per bean.  The longer roasting period means that the size of each dark roasted bean is lighter.  So a spoon of light roast beans will have less caffeine than a spoon of dark roasted bean.
  • Serving size:  Large does not mean more caffeine in coffee.  It all depends on the beans, how the coffee is brewed.  There are too many variables.  Your cuppa could have anywhere between 70 – 140mg on average with some coffee shops offering up to 700mg.

Does Espresso or Black Coffee Have More Caffeine?

The perception is that espresso has more caffeine than black coffee and technically that is correct but not necessarily.  The factors that determine the level of caffeine is the size of the cup and the strength of the coffee.

A standard espresso cup is small and a standard size of a black coffee is about 4 times in volume.  A cup of espresso is about 1.5oz to 2.00oz and a cup of black coffee is 8oz.  Now let’s factor in the strength of the coffee.  Espresso is about 40-50mg per ounce which makes the levels of caffeine anywhere between 60 and 100mg per cup.  Black coffee can have between 65 and 125mg of caffeine.

So it is not a simple case of espresso being stronger.  It will certainly be stronger in taste but may not have higher levels of caffeine.What espresso does offer you is a concentrated volume of caffeine in coffee compared to a cup of black coffee?  That is why you will find the experience of drinking an espresso more energizing.

An espresso is consumed quicker, caffeine is absorbed by the body quickly.  Black coffee in the workplace may take up to an hour to consume if you are distracted by a concentrating on a report.

The caffeine intake in that scenario is a slow drip feed into the body and even a larger amount of caffeine content will give the impression of lower levels.  It could be argued that the caffeine effect lasts longer.

Why I feel hungry after caffeine?

Caffeine is known to be an appetite suppressant and yet some people find themselves feeling hungry after drinking a cup of coffee.  This is simply because caffeine gives you energy, your brain is more active, you may be more physically active shortly after consuming a drink with caffeine.  The increased burning of sugar leads to reserves being reduced that stimulate the desire to eat.

The feeling of hunger may be quite swift.  This may happen because you have missed a meal or eaten a smaller portion, the rise in caffeine levels help your energy and concentration levels.

The higher level of caffeine is absorbed quickly into your body, the reduced consumption of food combined with a sharp reduction of caffeine based on the half-life will bring on hunger.

Do I feel more tired after drinking coffee?

Unbelievably coffee can make you feel tired.  Not because someone has accidentally made you a decaf coffee.

In our bodies is a chemical Adenosine that controls the part of your central nervous system determining when you sleep.  The level of Adenosine rises and then falls when you sleep.

Obviously there are other factors but generally, Adenosine levels rise when it is time to sleep.  Caffeine can block your brain from receiving Adenosine and when the levels of caffeine reduce the brain receives a flow of Adenosine quickly.  That is what causes the tiredness because the body is still producing Adenosine, it’s just not been received by the brain.  Hence the tiredness so no need to be suspicious that someone has slipped you a cup of decaf as a cruel joke.Another reason for tiredness could be caused by sugar.  It is well documented that people who consume lots of sugar experience a ‘sugar crash’.  Some coffee shops will offer syrups that have intensive levels of sugar.  Even cream has sugar and served with added sugar to give you that added level of pleasure.Coffee is great.  The growth in coffee shops currently is no coincidence.  You can choose from a whole variety of coffees and from a number of independent and chains of coffee shops, or even make a perfect one by self.  Caffeine and coffee are just sublime.  The pleasure, energy, aroma, taste, and accessibility make it difficult to resist. Leave us a comment about how you do you think caffeine in coffee. If you like the content, please click or share also!

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