If you've read up on how caffeine affects your brain, you know it's easy for daily fixes to become necessary rather than energising. One coffee-loving writer details how hard it is to measure your intake, given the nature of coffee and soft drinks.
Photo by jerine.
Dave Munger tries to answer the question of "Does Coffee Work" for Seed Magazine, and comes to mostly the same conclusion we did: Yes, if you don't drink it regularly and go slow with it. He reveals some eye-opening statistics, however, about how hard it is to measure how much caffeine you're drinking each day. There is no single "16 ounce coffee" yardstick, it turns out:
In a separate study, researchers measured caffeine content of "identical" cups of brewed coffee purchased on separate days, and found striking variance: 475 milliliters (16 ounces) of Starbucks Breakfast Blend contained as little as 259 mg and as much as 564 mg of caffeine. In another study, even decaf espresso was found to contain between 13 and 16 mg of caffeine. That means the half-caf Americano I order from Starbucks actually has about 73 milligrams of caffeine, or more than I'd get in a typical 235 ml (8 ounce) cup of "fully caffeinated" Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Caffeinated colas also have significant variance in caffeine levels based on brand, although the individual servings don't vary as much. A 355 ml (12 ounce) Coke has about 35 mg of caffeine, while a Mountain Dew has around 54 mg. So to support a caffeine addiction with 100 mg of caffeine, you might consume as little as one-fifth of a cup of coffee, or as much as three cans of Coke a day.
It's worth thinking about if you're wondering why you feel such withdrawal-like symptoms the day after you had "just one coffee".
Does Coffee Work? [Seed Magazine]