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Caffeine Offers Benefits Beyond Energy JoltDo you rely on a hot cup of coffee to arouse you in the morning? If so, you’re not alone. Sixty-two percent of American adults drink coffee daily, according to the National Coffee Association.

It’s not surprising that it’s the caffeine that makes it a go-to. Caffeine is a natural chemical found in a variety of plants and seeds, including coffee beans, which are actually seeds. It also is added to some foods and beverages, most often for an energy boost.

Coffee is the most common source of caffeine in the country. An 8-ounce cup of joe delivers from 100 mg to 200 mg, depending on the type of beans and how much water is used to brew the coffee.

Here are other sources:

Source Caffeine amount[1]
Green tea 25-29 mg per 8 oz serving
Black tea 25-48 mg per 8 oz serving
Cola soda 25-45 mg per 12 oz can
Energy drink 27-164 mg per 8 oz serving
Energy shot 40-100 mg per shot
Dark chocolate (50-69% cocoa) 70 mg per 3.5 oz bar
Milk chocolate 20 mg per 100g
Hot cocoa 9 mg per 8 oz serving

Most people know caffeine is a stimulant.  It helps you feel more alert and awake by stimulating the nervous system. The body quickly absorbs the nutrient, so its effects are often felt within an hour.

Beyond the energy boost, caffeine has been found to provide a variety of health benefits. Here’s what research has shown:

Improves physical performance. Numerous studies have shown that consuming caffeine before exercise can enhance physical performance. One trial found that ingesting caffeine 90 minutes prior to exertion improved athletes’ cycling performance.[2] Another study found that sedentary men were able to cycle harder and faster after consuming it.[3]

Enhances cognitive function and lifts mood. An analysis of scientific studies found caffeine is often associated with improved reaction time, mood, alertness, memory and cognitive performance.[4]

Helps burns fat. Researchers have explored caffeine’s role in thermogenesis, the body’s process of generating heat and energy. It’s thought the body burns calories by creating heat. One small study found it increased the resting metabolic rate in lean and overweight adults.[5] Resting metabolism is the energy required to perform basic functions at rest.

U.S. adults average about 300 mg of caffeine consumption daily, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Teens and young adults intake about 100 mg a day.

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine, and some health experts have warned against exceeding 500 to 600 mg daily. That’s because too much can result in sleep disturbances, a racing heart, headaches, and feeling jittery and anxious.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

[1] Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and healthy eating.

[2] Desbrow B, et al. The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance. J Sports Sci. 2012;30(2):115-20.

[3] Laurence G, et al. Effects of caffeine on time trial performance in sedentary men. J Sports Sci. 2012;30(12):1235-40.

[4] Ruxton, C. H. S. (2008), The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks. Nutrition Bulletin, 33: 15–25. doi:10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x.

[5] Dulloo AG, et al. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50.