Facts about Caffeine

Facts about Caffeine

Many of us start our day with a steaming brew of coffee. In fact, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, it is estimated 80%-90% of people in America are regular coffee drinkers. Those suffering from heartburn know too well, caffeine is a major trigger of heartburn. With caffeine being so addictive it can be difficult to substitute it, or not drink it at all.


Seeing as caffeine is a major heartburn trigger, let’s look at some interesting facts on coffee from the National Coffee Association USA, 2014:

  • Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages on the rise, from 13% to 18%.
  • 34% of Americans consume gourmet coffee beverages daily, up by 3%.
  • Daily coffee consumptions remain strong at 61%.
  • The highest amount of coffee brewers are aged between 25-39, at 42%, compared to only 24% of 60 and over.
  • 61% of Americans drink more coffee than soft drinks.

What is caffeine and how does it work?

Caffeine comes from the coffee bean, kola nut, tea leaf and cacao pod. Once you consume caffeine, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a soda, it enters your bloodstream via the stomach and small intestine. You can feel the effect within 15 minutes. You are probably wondering how your cup of coffee wakes you up in the morning. According to the Harvard Medical School, caffeine blocks the actions of the brain chemical adenosine. This is the chemical that is linked to sleep. Low doses of coffee now and then can have positive effects, such as happiness and an energetic boost. A regular coffee drinker may not feel those effects after a while, but need a morning boost to overcome sleepiness.

Is there such a thing as too much caffeine?

The FDA recommends 400mg of caffeine a day, which is around 4 or 5 cups of coffee. This is a safe amount, with no dangerous side effects. However, the effects of caffeine can vary from person to person, as each individual is different. Some may be more sensitive to caffeine, whereas others may have a higher tolerance. In huge doses, caffeine is extremely lethal. The University of Washington suggest 10g of caffeine is fatal, the equivalent to 80-100 cups of coffee.


Are there any health benefits to caffeine?

Caffeine is a popular ingredient used to boost performance and increase energy. A study in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed consuming coffee is linked to lower rates in depression in women. The more caffeine consumed, the more effective it was found to be. Furthermore, a 2015 study found those who consumed 4 cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk of developing malignant melanoma, compared to those who drank less coffee.

Is caffeine bad for my health?

Caffeine can increase blood pressure, which in the long run stiffens the arteries. People with type 2 diabetes are also at risk, as ongoing research has found daily caffeine consumption can make it hard to keep blood sugar levels under control. Caffeine can also cause difficulty sleeping, heartburn and anxiety. Large amounts of caffeine can cause jitters, leading to headaches and dizziness, and can even make the heart beat faster.


If you suffer from caffeine withdrawals to avoid your daily heartburn, make an appointment today at Houston Heartburn to learn more about the steps you can take.