Full Speed Ahead with Caffeine



Wouldn't you know it--my family is on Midwinter Break this week, so this post is being composed on my ancient iPhone. Please forgive typos, weird formatting and general nonsensicalness! But on our long flights I did manage to finish the fascinating book pictures above. I remember when my sister was in college she had a textbook called LICIT DRUGS, of which caffeine was the prime example. Whether you're a daily coffee drinker, tea Fri ker, or a regular fan of one of the top ten sodas in the country, odds are you have a caffeine addiction.

A soda might contain 1/64th teaspoon of caffeine (a bitter white powder), a 12-ounce coffee has about 1/16th teaspoon, and a dose of 1 tablespoon would be lethal! (Don't worry--that's about 50 cups of coffee or 200 cups of tea.)

Caffeine can be culled from many plant sources around the world, and no matter how we take it--through a beverage habit or by chewing kola nuts or downing chocolate, studies have found we are as good as lab rats in self-medicating. We ingest until we get our usual dosage.

Why caffeine? It suppresses our sleepiness receptors, improves reaction time and mental acuity and even makes us more sociable. Only a small percentage of folks suffer adverse effects, and we can tell when we've gone over our proper daily dosage.

The author journeys around the world and through history to investigate chocolate, soft drinks, coffee, tea, energy drinks and sports gels, and even caffeinated chewing gums!

A couple fun takeaways:
-- caffeine in your tea increases, the longer you let it steep.
--Coffee consumption in the U.S. dropped after WWII, and the you get generation prefers energy drinks.
--Most caffeine nowadays is produced synthetically in China.
-- coffee drinkers suffer less from depression ! However, caffeine does promote insulin resistance.
--Children ages 4-12 should notĀ have more than 45-85mg caffeine daily(!!!!). Of course, if you're the crazy kind of parent giving your kids any caffeine at all, you have more late-night stamina than I ever will.

Anyhow, if, like most Americans, you're a certified caffeine addict, I recommend this read! Please enjoy the pics that follow because I can't format them within the text over my phone...

Awesome pic from the Coca-Cola Company website!
[Courtesy the Starbucks website]
"Dude. This guy wants to try our chocolate." [Pic fromĀ worldnomads.com]