Let’s talk about caffeine
Caffeine is a methylxanthine stimulant that is found in several plants. These include coffee beans, tea leaves, kola nuts (used in cola drinks), and cacao seeds (used to make chocolate). Alone, caffeine does not contain any calories or other nutrients. However, pure caffeine is quite bitter. Oftentimes, sweeteners and flavorings are added to improve the taste.
It affects more than just the brain and the central nervous system (CNS). Aside from combating drowsiness, caffeine has physiological effects on the heart, lungs, kidneys, and smooth muscles.
While coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks are safe for consumption, excessive amounts can have negative effects on the body. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, irritability, nervousness, increased heart and breathing rate, tremors, and even seizures (at high doses).
Toxicity can occur at around 10 grams of caffeine. For reference, a single cup of coffee may contain approximately 50-100 mg of caffeine. Experts suggest limiting caffeine consumption to 400 mg per day, which is approximately 3 to 5 cups of coffee.