Family Nutrition In Action
June 2004, Vol. 8, No. 4
This newsletter is supported with funding from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education
program, USDA’s Food Stamp Program, Florida Department of Children and Families, and
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, in collaboration with state, county, and local
agencies. The Food Stamp Program gives nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you
buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, call 1-800-342-9274 (toll-free).
helpful because it can keep us
awake and alert. But it can also
Pure caffeine is odorless and bitter
make us nervous,
tasting. Most people don’t want
impatient, and dizzy,
pure caffeine. But to most people,
and it can cause
a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of
cola sounds pretty good -- and we
get a lot of caffeine from coffee, tea,
Caffeine can interfere with
and cola. We can also get a lot of
sleep. Once you’ve consumed a
caffeine from some pain relievers
product with caffeine in it, it
and weight loss pills – including
takes about 6 hours for just half
herbal or natural formulas. We can
of that caffeine to wear off. If
even get caffeine from chocolate.
it’s still in your body at night,
the caffeine keeps you from
Caffeine and Health
getting the deep sleep that is so
important to your health. Instead,
Caffeine is a stimulant. It is
you are more likely to toss and
the most commonly used drug in
turn and get up
the United States and in the
several times during
world. Caffeine is not really
the night, which
addictive, but it can be habit
leaves you tired the
For most people, caffeine, in
moderation seems to have no
effect on health. On the other
hand, if you have
hypertension, caffeine may
make it worse – at least
temporarily. Caffeine is
How Much is OK?
Food and drink manufacturers are
not required to list caffeine on the
Caffeine seems to have the same
product label unless caffeine has
effect on children as it does on
been added to the item. Even then,
adults. But the effect of caffeine on
the label does not have to specify
a person depends a lot on the size
how much caffeine the item
of the person and how caffeine-
contains. People expect caffeine in
sensitive the person is. Like many
certain products like coffee or tea.
chemicals, caffeine is measured in
But, you wouldn’t expect it in
milligrams. (It takes 28,000
orange soda. Sunkist orange soda
milligrams to equal 1 ounce). A
has caffeine but other brands do
general recommendation is that
not. Chocolate has only a little
adults should not have more than
caffeine, but chocolate has another
300 milligrams of caffeine a day
chemical in it that work likes
and that children should not have
caffeine so your body feels like it’s
more than 100 milligrams of
getting more than it really is. The
caffeine a day.
amount of caffeine in several
drinks, desserts, and drugs is listed
Average amount of
Dark colored colas
(Coke, Pespsi, Tab, Dr.
Light colored colas
High energy drinks
(XTC, Red Bull)
Average amount of
Chocolate ice cream
Want to Cut Back?
Avoid coffee, green tea, black
tea, oolong tea, and colas.
If you are having trouble sleeping at
night or if you are too easily
Avoid chocolate and foods that
stressed during the day, you might
have chocolate in them.
want to try cutting back on caffeine.
Decaffeinated products are a good
Ask a pharmacist about the
choice, but they still have a little bit
caffeine level in prescription and
of caffeine. If you really want to cut
over the counter drugs so you’ll
know what you’re getting.
Drink herbal teas, lemonade,
For a quick burst of energy
fruit juices, milk, water, seltzer.
during the day, try deep
breathing, taking a fast walk or
Caffeine-Free Lemon Mint Ice Tea
4 mint, herbal tea bags
¼ cup sugar
1 can (6 ounces) lemonade concentrate, thawed
In a large, heat resistant pitcher, steep tea bags in 1 quart (4
cups) boiling water for 10 minutes.
Remove tea bags and add sugar, stir until dissolved.
Add the lemonade concentrate and 1 quart (4 cups) cold water.
Serve over ice.
For additional information, contact your local County Extension
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A. & M. UNIVERSITY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION PROGRAM, AND BOARDS OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS