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There is nothing more satisfying than waking up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. If you’re like 71% of the U.S., coffee is your choice of caffeine. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the leaves, seeds or fruit of over sixty plants around the world. Caffeine exists in the coffee bean, the tea leaf, the kola nut and the cocoa bean.

For the past two decades, extensive research has been conducted on how caffeine affects health. Most experts agree that moderate use of caffeine (300 milligrams, or about three cups of coffee per day) is not likely to cause health problems.

Studies show that caffeine has many benefits, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and Parkinson’s disease. It can improve athletic performance and even headaches, which is why Excedrin and Anacin contain up to 120mg of caffeine, and the list goes on. But, you can get other benefits from coffee that have nothing to do with caffeine. Nutrition experts agree that coffee is loaded with antioxidants that help improve the body’s response to insulin and can help with glucose metabolism.

However, caffeine in excess doses — more than whatever your body can tolerate — can increase nervousness, hand trembling and cause rapid heartbeat. So, if you’re not a regular coffee drinker, consume in moderation. The good news is that caffeine does not stay in your body and is usually excreted within several hours of consumption.

It was once thought that for every cup of coffee you drink you had to consume an equal amount of water to regulate your hydration. While it is true that coffee is a mild diuretic, moderate consumption of coffee has no greater dehydrating effect than that seen with plain water. Decaffeinated coffee contains minimal amounts of caffeine and will also have no greater effect on fluid loss than water.

So, drink up! Enjoy your cup and know that you may benefit from drinking your coffee!

SOURCES OF CAFFEINE

Source Typical amount of caffeine*
Brewed coffee, drip method (8oz) 85 – 175mg
Instant coffee 75 – 100mg
Decaffeinated coffee 3-4 mg
Espresso (2oz) 100mg
Brewed tea, major U.S. brands 40mg
Brewed tea, imported brands 60mg
Instant tea 28mg
Iced tea (8oz) 25mg
Some soft drinks (8oz) 24mg
Cocoa beverage (8oz) 6mg
Chocolate milk beverage (8oz) 5mg
Milk chocolate (1oz) 6mg
Dark chocolate, semi-sweet (1oz) 20mg
Baker’s chocolate (1oz) 26mg
Chocolate flavored syrup (1oz) 4mg