Table of Contents
1 Caffeine in the morning banishes sorrow and worries
2 How does caffeine work?
3 Caffeine during pregnancy
4 Caffeine during breastfeeding
5 Caffeine for children
6 Caffeine content in drinks
7 Our favorite coffee alternatives
8 Conclusion: Caffeine in moderation is good for your health

For many people, a day without coffee is a day lost. Where does this feeling of well-being come from when drinking coffee? And can tea actually do the same? We take a closer look at the social drug caffeine and shed light on its effects, side effects and alternatives.

Caffeine in the morning banishes sorrow and worries

Are you a morning grouch without your first coffee? You're not alone. Many of us need our morning cup of coffee or tea to get us going. What's behind this is not a mystery, but a simple chemical reaction triggered by the active ingredient caffeine, which occurs naturally in coffee and tea. Caffeine constricts your blood vessels, stimulating your circulation and promoting blood flow to your brain. This makes you feel alert, focused and powerful. Due to this stimulating effect, caffeine is eventhe most popular psychoactive substance in the world. But coffee and tea not only wake us up, they also promote our health in many ways: antioxidants protect our cells and strengthen our immune system. Caffeine also reduces the risk of various illnesses, especially those related to the heart, circulation and respiratory tract.[1]But beware! The effects of caffeine are not all positive. An excess of caffeine can lead to restlessness or sleep disorders, among other things. As is so often the case, the dose makes the poison - or the medicine. Here we explain everything you always wanted to know about caffeine.

How does caffeine work?

Caffeine is a purely natural active ingredient that occurs in several plant species: coffee, tea, mate, kola nut, guarana and cocoa are natural sources of caffeine.

Caffeine acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system, which you can feel in its stimulating effect. What exactly happens? Caffeine intake increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Your circulation is stimulated and your blood vessels constrict. This ensures that you feel alert, focused and powerful and powerful. The wake-up effect is mainly due to the stimulation of blood circulation in the brain and the associated release of neurotransmitters (messenger substances).

Within 20 to 60 minutes, 100% of the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and transported throughout your entire body. It is largely broken down in the liver and excreted in the urine.[2] The effect time of caffeine can be several hours last several hours. However, this depends heavily on your physical condition and the amount you take. Your tolerance also increases with regular caffeine consumption.[3] This means that the more caffeine you consume, the shorter or weaker the effect.

What caffeine can do - health-promoting effects of caffeine

Caffeine for the prevention of diseases

In addition to stimulating the central nervous system, caffeine has a positive effect on the performance of the respiratory muscles, which is why it alleviates or prevents acute or chronic respiratory diseases. As a result many secondary diseases of the respiratory tract or vasoconstriction prevented.

Great news for coffee lovers: regular consumption of coffee or tea can even reduce the risk of heart attack. Another positive property of caffeine is its preventive effect on certain cancers.[4] It has also been proven that its positive influence on blood vessels and metabolism has a preventive effect on diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes).[5] It also helps to prevent liver cirrhosis and reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease.[6]

Caffeine to reduce stress

The intake of caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain. These receptors restrict the uptake of various neurotransmitters, including the happiness hormone dopamine. The intake of caffeine inhibits this suppression, allowing happiness hormones to develop their full effect. This creates the "caffeine high": your mood improves, while your feeling of stress is reduced or prevented.[7]

Caffeine to strengthen the immune system

Also your immune system is happy about a regular caffeine boost. Antioxidants, such as the chlorogenic acid in coffee or polyphenols in tea, protect our cells from damage and ageing. As a result, your immune system strengthened and reduces the risk of secondary diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease or type 2 diabetes. [8]

Positive effects of caffeine

  • Energizer
  • Improved concentration
  • Increased performance
  • Improved motor skills
  • Stimulation of the circulation
  • Strengthening the respiratory muscles
  • Reduced risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, liver cirrhosis, heart attack, cancer
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced feeling of stress
  • Strengthening of the immune system

Negative side effects of caffeine - the other side of the coin

Caffeine affects the sleep rhythm

The apparent miracle cure caffeine also has some negative side effects. By blocking receptors in the brain that have a sleep-promoting effect, caffeine can have a Influence your sleep behavior behavior. It affects your internal clock and homeostatic processes that are responsible for your day-night rhythm and deep sleep phases. This is why caffeine intake disrupts our sleep rhythm and shifts it back by a reference value of 40 minutes.[9]

Caffeine has a dehydrating effect - drink a large glass of water with every coffee

Have you ever noticed that coffee makes you thirsty and makes you feel the urge to urinate? This is no coincidence: Caffeine has a dehydrating effect. To prevent dehydration, you should therefore drink a large glass of water with every cup of coffee or tea.

Caffeine dependence - when the habit becomes an addiction

Do you "need" your morning coffee and are only really responsive afterwards? What looks like a harmless and socially accepted habit can easily turn into an addiction. addiction degenerate into an addiction. Anyone who consumes caffeine every day runs the risk of becoming dependent on it. 

 According to a study in German-speaking countries, 19% of test subjects exhibit withdrawal symptoms when they stop or minimize their caffeine consumption.

Symptoms such as a strong compulsive desire to consume caffeine, physical effects such as insomnia, muscle twitching, palpitations and even vomiting, a strongly increased urge to urinate or a neglect of other interests can indicate a caffeine dependency. However, such a severe dependence only develops if you regularly exceed the recommended daily dose of 400 mg of caffeine (= approx. 4 cups of coffee) over a longer period of time. A mild dependency can already be said to exist if it is very difficult or impossible to get going without the morning dose of caffeine.

Caffeine can lead to restlessness and palpitations

An overdose of caffeine can have unpleasant side effects: You become restless, nervous, unable to sit still or concentrate. It can also Cardiac arrhythmia and palpitations can occur. The amount at which these symptoms occur depends on your general caffeine tolerance, your physical composition and your daily condition.

Coffee can lead to nausea and stomach pain

Increased caffeine consumption can lead to Nausea and stomach pain as it stimulates stomach acid production. This is mainly due to the chlorogenic acid contained in coffee. This is also one of the reasons why tea is usually easier to digest.

Negative effects of caffeine

  • Caffeine affects your sleep rhythm
  • Caffeine has a dehydrating effect
  • High caffeine consumption can lead to palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, convulsions, restlessness, vomiting
  • Caffeine can be addictive
  • Caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid

Caffeine during pregnancy

Do you have to give up your morning coffee during pregnancy? Experts advise greatly reduced caffeine consumption during pregnancy. Above all, it is recommended that you stop drinking coffee altogether. Tea should be consumed in moderation, about 2 cups a day.[10]

The reason for this is that caffeine passes unhindered through the placenta after ingestion. This means that the caffeine absorbed by the expectant mother is also present in the blood serum of the fetus. Here too, it unfolds its stimulating effect and can lead to increased activity and an increased heartbeat in the fetus. Unlike in adults, the growing organism is already overloaded with small amounts of caffeine. A baby in the womb also experiences caffeine withdrawal much more intensively. Subsequently, caffeine consumption can influence birth weight. The more caffeine is consumed, the lower the newborn's body weight will be.[11]

Caffeine during breastfeeding

Here tooCaffeine only in small quantitiesis recommended, it is even better to avoid it. Caffeine is also passed on to the baby through breast milk after birth. Although it is not passed on directly via the placenta as it is during pregnancy, the residual dose of caffeine contained in breast milk is still a cause for concern for newborn babies. If a breastfeeding mother drinks coffee or large quantities of tea, this can result in irritable, easily irritated and restless behavior in her baby.[12]

Caffeine for children

Just like babies, children also react sensitively to caffeine. An important tip in this context: it's not just coffee or tea that causes symptoms in children. Soft and refreshing drinks also often contain caffeine, which can be problematic for children under the age of 10. The combination of caffeine and sugar is particularlydangerousand can cause hyperactivity followed by extreme tiredness and mood swings.[13]

Caffeine content in drinks

The most caffeine-rich natural drink is coffee with 50-150 mg of caffeine per 125 ml.[14] The exact caffeine content depends on the method of preparation. There are legal restrictions for industrially produced soft drinks with added caffeine: They may contain up to 320 mg of caffeine per liter.[15] The recommended daily dose of caffeine is maximum 400 mg. This corresponds to approx. 4 cups of coffee.[16]

How much caffeine do caffeinated drinks contain?

  • Drink / portion

    Coffee / 125 ml

    Espresso / 50 ml

    Green tea / 125 ml

    Energy drink / 250 ml

    Guarana / 1 g

    Cola drink / 200 ml

    Black tea / 125 ml

    Mate / 100 ml

    Cocoa / 125 ml

  • Caffeine (serving)

    50-150 mg

    50-150 mg

    50-100 mg

    up to 80 mg

    40-80 mg

    20-60 mg

    20-50 mg

    20-25 mg

    2-6 mg

  • Caffeine (100ml)

    40-120 mg

    100-300 mg

    40-80 mg

    up to 32 mg

    40-80 mg

    10-30 mg

    16-40 mg

    20-25 mg

    1.6-4.8 mg

Our favorite coffee alternatives

Caffeine kick without coffee - is that possible? Yes! A variety of coffee alternatives provide the same positive effects. And in some cases without negative side effects.

Caffeine kick without coffee - is that possible? Yes! A variety of coffee alternatives provide the same positive effects. And in some cases without negative side effects.

Green tea comes very close to coffee in terms of caffeine content. Black tea has slightly less caffeine, but is more intense in taste. The differences mainly arise during preparation. The caffeine content in dry mass is relatively the same for coffee and tea. However, fewer dry tea leaves are used to make a cup of tea than coffee beans are used to make a cup of coffee. Tea therefore contains less caffeine per portion size than coffee. What also distinguishes both types of tea from coffee is the special effect of the teein they contain.

What is teein?

Teein is the caffeine in green and black tea. Pure chemically it is the same active ingredient as caffeine, which is only referred to differently due to its occurrence. Caffeine and teein produce the same effects, albeit at different speeds and intensities. Teein acts more slowly, but over a longer period of time. The big difference is the acid binding of the caffeine: in coffee, caffeine is bound to chlorogenic acid, in tea to tannic polyphenols (secondary plant substances). The difference arises in the absorption of caffeine in the intestine, which happens much faster with coffee than with tea. The caffeine effect of tea is therefore slower and therefore less intense, but longer lasting.[19]

Mate - the hip coffee substitute from South America

After coffee and tea, mate is the next biggest natural source of caffeine. The dried leaves of the holly species mate, more precisely Ilex paraquariensis, are prepared like tea. The exact caffeine content of mate cannot be determined as it always depends on the different composition and method of preparation. However, a caffeine content of approx. 20-25 mg per 100 ml is a guideline. In addition to caffeine, mate also contains many important secondary plant substances, antioxidants, minerals and vitamin C, which is why it is a particularly healthy alternative to coffee.

Guarana - caffeine kick from the Amazon

The coffee alternative guarana is a plant from the Amazon basin and belongs to the soap tree family. To obtain the caffeine drink from guarana, the roasted and ground seeds of the tree are infused and then drunk - similar to how coffee is prepared. Guarana is also often sprinkled over muesli in powder form or taken in capsule form. It is easy to overlook the amount of caffeine intake. Therefore, an important tip when using guarana powder: keep an eye on the caffeine content. Here too, the daily amount of 400 mg of caffeine should not be exceeded.[20]

Kick without caffeine - other energy boosters

Naps and breaks for more energy

Apart from the caffeine-containing substances mentioned, you can also create an invigorating, stimulating effect without caffeine.[21] "Powernaps"for example, live up to their name and work wonders. A short sleep break during the day gives you power, increases your attention span and improves your memory. Even a 6-minute nap is enough to produce these positive effects. Regular breaks - especially in combination with exercise and fresh air - also invigorate you, boost your circulation and refresh your brain. So if you don't like taking power naps at work, you can at least occasionally stretch your feet for a few minutes and air out your head.

Nutrients instead of caffeine - more energy through healthy eating

We say it again and again: a balanced diet is the basis for health and performance. Citrus fruits, for example, can keep you awake thanks to their high vitamin C content. Also with regular and balanced meals you ensure stable energy levels. The most important things here are complex carbohydratesthat keep your brain focused and efficient and your blood sugar levels stable.[23]

The best coffee alternatives at a glance

It's hard to imagine everyday social life without coffee and tea. As long as you keep your caffeine consumption moderate and combine it with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, there is nothing wrong with these stimulants. You even benefit from some of the health-promoting effects that themorning magicof the wake-up cup of coffee. A balanced caffeine intake is a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day, which corresponds to around 4 cups of coffee or green tea or 6 cups of black tea or mate. The exact amount that is best for you will of course depend on your body composition and individual caffeine tolerance.[24]An overdose can make itself felt through nervousness, palpitations or sleep disorders.

Conclusion: Caffeine in moderation is good for your health

It's hard to imagine everyday social life without coffee and tea. As long as you keep your caffeine consumption moderate and combine it with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, there is nothing wrong with these stimulants. You even benefit from some of the health-promoting effects that themorning magicof the wake-up cup of coffee. A balanced caffeine intake is a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day, which corresponds to around 4 cups of coffee or green tea or 6 cups of black tea or mate. The exact amount that is best for you will of course depend on your body composition and individual caffeine tolerance.[24]An overdose can make itself felt through nervousness, palpitations or sleep disorders.

Why not try Saturo cappuccino

FAQs - Everything you always wanted to know about caffeine

Is my daily breakfast coffee unhealthy?

Basically not. Coffee is a social stimulant that can even be beneficial to your health if consumed in moderation (1-4 cups per day). However, if you notice negative side effects such as nervousness or insomnia, you can minimize your coffee consumption or temporarily stop drinking it altogether.

How much coffee per day is healthy?

The recommended daily dose is a maximum of 400 mg. This is roughly equivalent to 4 cups of coffee or green tea and 6 cups of black tea or mate.

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?

A 125 ml cup of coffee contains 50-150 mg of caffeine, depending on how it is prepared.

What happens in the event of a caffeine overdose?

An excessive amount of caffeine in the body is manifested by strong tremors or severe palpitations. An overdose occurs when symptoms such as muscular twitching, severe restlessness, cardiac arrhythmia or even vomiting occur.[25]

Can I drink coffee during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

Unborn babies and infants are extremely sensitive to caffeine. As caffeine is passed on via the placenta and breast milk, you should avoid coffee and limit your tea consumption during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Is caffeine addictive?

Yes, withdrawal symptoms such as extreme tiredness, irritability, palpitations, tremors or vomiting can occur when caffeine is discontinued. Dependence develops with long-term, daily and increasing consumption.

Does tea also contain caffeine?

Yes, although the caffeine in tea is called teein. Chemically, the substance is the same. However, teein is metabolized more slowly. The effect is therefore milder and lasts longer.

How much tea can I drink per day?

Depending on how it is prepared, green tea can contain just as much caffeine as coffee. We therefore recommend a maximum of 4 cups a day. Black tea has a lower caffeine content. You can drink up to 6 cups a day. The same applies to mate.

Sbalitelný obsah

Sources

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