Let me start by saying that I am not a coffee drinker. I had never had a coffee in my life until I started university. And I quickly found out that my body and coffee do NOT agree. Not only do my taste buds and coffee disagree, but so do my innards and coffee. I really wish this wasn’t the case because sometimes I really could use a coffee pick-me-up. Especially as a university student! Anyways, enough talk about me and coffee, let’s talk about YOU and coffee!
The most commonly consumed beverages worldwide are:
In Canada, that order changes to:
63% of Canadian adults drink coffee every day, compared to only 49% of Americans. We Canadians sure love our Java! Coffee drinkers have on average 2.6 cups a day.
Coffee is the primary source of caffeine in our diet, but it can also be found in other beverages and food:
Health Canada recommends we get no more than 400mg of caffeine a day. That’s equivalent to approximately three 8oz. cups of coffee.
What happens if I consume over 400mg of caffeine a day?
- General effects include muscle tremors (the ji-ji-jitters!), nausea, irritability
- Cardiovascular effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Potential links to cancer
- Effects on fertility and reproduction
BUT … it is hard to link these health effects with caffeine because there are a variety of factors that can influence a person’s reaction to caffeine, including:
- Volume of coffee consumed
- Preparation of coffee
- Concentration of coffee (i.e. type of coffee bean, growing conditions, etc.)
- General body tolerance
Not everyone’s body can tolerate the same things or same amounts of things. Here are a few side effects that some people (myself included) might experience after caffeine intake:
- The jitters!
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Upset stomach/bowels
Hey! I thought drinking coffee was supposed to be good for me!
You’re right! Studies have proven that drinking some coffee (no more than the recommended caffeine intake of 400mg) can have positive effects on our health, such as decreased risk of:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Some types of cancers
- Liver disease
Fun Facts: Who serves up the most caffeine?
A medium (14oz.) Tim Hortons coffee has about 150mg of caffeine
A tall (12 oz.) Starbucks coffee has about 250mg of caffeine!
One of my good friends at school recently experienced the Starbucks zoing – “I got a Starbucks coffee today and had the shakes for a good two hours after finishing it. I could barely write notes in class my pen was vibrating so hard!” It might be funny but it just goes to show you how strong caffeine can be! Thanks M.B for letting me share your Starbucks jitters!