“CAFFEINE IS IN THE NEWS!” is how someone that’s consumed a bit too much caffeine might report the latest announcement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In April, the federal agency released a statement regarding new caffeine guidelines.
“Dietary supplements containing pure or highly concentrated caffeine in powder or liquid forms are considered unlawful when sold directly to consumers. Given the significant public health concerns, this guidance is immediately in effect. The FDA is prepared to take steps right away to begin removing illegal products from the market,” the agency said in its press release.
During that coffee-fueled burst of productivity, it’s important to remember that caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Too much of it can be dangerous, especially for people with existing medical conditions.
The main issue at the FDA with bulk liquid and powder caffeine products is a consumer’s ability to properly measure and dispense the stimulant without endangering themselves or others.
10 Pros and Cons of Caffeine and Coffee Consumption
1. Experts suggest that around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is fine for healthy adults. This is about four cups of brewed coffee, two “energy-shots” or 10 cans of caffeinated soda, though people’s reaction to tolerance to caffeine varies widely. In other words, don’t go pound 10 cans of soda. It won’t feel great.
2. A single teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine can contain as much as 3,200 milligrams of the stimulant or the equivalent to 28 cups of very strong coffee. Such a pure concentration makes it likely that people will over-caffeinate themselves to dangerous levels.
3. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed coffee from its list of potentially carcinogenic foods since coffee might protect people from liver and uterus cancer.
4. An American Heart Association (AMA) study also reports that healthy coffee consumption showed an 8 percent to 15 percent reduction in the risk of death from conditions like cardiovascular disease.
5. Because the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25, children should not have caffeine and adolescents should limit their consumption due to its interaction with the central nervous system.
6. Too much caffeine has the potential to make people nervous or jittery. For people with anxiety disorders, one of the most common mental health issues in the country, consuming “energy-shots” might not be a good idea.
7. Mixing caffeine and other stimulants (such as alcohol, or medications containing ephedrine, like decongestants) is not safe because it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, even in healthy individuals.
8. Using powdered caffeine as a pre-workout supplement can also be incredibly dangerous if measured incorrectly, causing an overly elevated heart rate or even a fatal overdose.
9. Moderate caffeine intake can promote weight loss, improve short-term memory and enhance productivity,
10. Additionally, there’s a strong body of research suggesting a consistent and normal caffeine intake reduces the risk of some cancers, as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Everyone responds differently to caffeine. Some people find it only agitates them and they’re better off without it. Others can’t seem to operate without at least some caffeine in the morning or throughout the day.
Regardless, following FDA guidelines and avoiding bulk caffeine supplements is the best call.
If you need a little pick-me-up, someone who’s had just a bit too much caffeine might say “JUST HAVE A CUP OF TEA OR COFFEE!”