Remember to check ingredients
It’s no secret that as a society, we’re pretty fond of caffeine.
Caffeine is a vasodilator, which essentially means the more you drink the more your blood vessels expand to allow more blood to your brain and limbs, which is what causes you to feel more awake. With a country and culture as busy as ours, it’s no wonder a majority of the population runs on a cup of coffee or four every day.
But there’s a chance you’re having more caffeine than you think.
Recently, internet sleuths have been turning up more and more unexpected products that add in a little bit of caffeine to their consumables – a few milligrams to make people feel good when they’re having the product and keep them coming back. A few milligrams doesn’t sound too bad, but then again, how many of us actually know how to quantify caffeine in milligrams off the top of our heads? Here’s a quick break down of common amounts: An espresso has 63mg of caffeine. An average cup of coffee has between 95-140mg of caffeine. Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster contain 136-163mg of caffeine per can.
This is where things get weird.
A Charged Lemonade from Panera Bread has 260mg of caffeine per serving of 20 ounces – their small size. The large size at 30 oz has 390mg, which comes in just under the Food and Drug Administration’s determined maximum safe daily amount for healthy adults of 400mg. The fact that it contains caffeine at all is only stated in the fine print under the bold font of the flavor options, and though it’s called “charged,” who would expect a lemonade to contain more caffeine than an energy drink?
Kashi chocolate granola bars contain around 9mg of caffeine. Dannon coffee yogurt contains 30mg. Again, these are products not typically associated with getting folks awake in the morning.
Currently, there’s no law from the FDA that requires caffeine labeling beyond the amount of caffeine included as per the requirements of the nutrition facts label. And considering most of us don’t know the milligrams of caffeine in coffee off the top of our head, it can be hard to quantify it when we see an unusually large number.
While caffeine can help to get the day going, having too much can lead to some serious possible medical complications, from kidney issues to strokes. So, to those of us who are avoiding caffeine for one reason or another, always remember to check the labels on foods and drinks. You might be a bit more caffeinated than you think.