How Much Caffeine is Okay to Consume?
Discussion Caffeine is a natural alkaloid found in more than 60 plants and is the most, or one of the most, ingested bioactive substances in the world. It is ingested most commonly in beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, caffeinated water or alcohol) but is also found in foods, medications, dietary supplements and over-the-counter stimulants. In the US coffee is the major source for adults. The concentration of caffeine depends on many factors such as the coffee species, agricultural practices, drying and storage of the beans, and the roasting, grinding and brewing of the coffee. In the US children ingest caffeine most often in tea and soft drinks. While the overall amount of caffeine intake is generally stable or declining, the use of energy drinks and coffee is increasing especially in the teenage population. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children and teens do not consume energy drinks. Caffeine impacts on the developing brain are not really known. Teens and children metabolize caffeine faster than adults. Caffeine is absorbed into the circulation usually within 30-45 minutes with peak plasma concentrations at 1-1.5 hours. It is excreted in the renal system but is also resorbed there. Caffeine is mainly metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system of the liver. The half-life is increased in females, pregnancy, preterm neonates, oral contraceptives and other medications, cigarette smoking and liver disease. Caffeine use has pros and cons, w...
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