It's safe to say that we live in an over-caffeinated society. But I, for one, couldn't live on an island without coffee or tea.
Recently, I researched the effects of caffeine out of my own curiosity on why caffeine is so wonderful. According to the Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consuming 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day is safe for adults—anything above that is unsafe.
So what does unsafe mean? It means that you can be exposed to the possible side effects of caffeine, which include headaches, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, and sleeplessness.
It's amazing that a cup of Starbucks tall drip coffee contains 260 milligrams. Venti has 415. The Starbucks caffè mocha in the grande size has 175 whereas its grande hot chocolate only has 25 milligrams. A large cup of McDonald's coffee has 133 milligrams.
All of this information can be found on the Center for Science in the Public Interest website.
In no way am I singling out Starbucks. I wonder why coffee chains have their beverages so heavily caffeinated—has it got something to do with the brewing process?
Tea, on the other hand, is less menacing on your system. An eight-ounce cup of black tea brewed at home contains 30 to 80 milligrams of caffeine. Earl Grey from Starbucks has 115 milligrams.
Of course, caffeine also appears in energy drinks and ice cream, like Haagen-Dazs (coffee-flavoured).
What the center revealed to me is that caffeine should no longer be taken habitually. It should be a conscious choice, like counting calories when you want to lose weight.
But it doesn't mean I'll never go to Starbucks again. I'll still be in the lineups, only less frequently.