It quite possibly is everybody’s favorite caffeinated beverage worldwide. Germans, for example, drink over 160 liters of coffee per year. What’s more, Americans all together enjoy about 400 million cups of coffee yearly. This is, of course, because coffee is very delicious. Still, what makes coffee so very popular is its stimulant effect. It is due to the fact that coffee contains lots of caffeine. With coffee extracts such as Cold Drip being particularly high in caffeine. Below you will find more information about caffeine, cold drip caffeine content as well as related topics and facts:
Table of Content
- Definition and Terminology
- The Origin of Caffeine
- How Does Caffeine Affect The Human Body?
- How Long Does Caffeine Last In Your Body?
- What Contains Caffeine?
- Caffeine Content
- Caffeine in Coffee
- Cold Drip and its Caffeine Content
- Caffeine Withdrawal
- Medicinal Uses
Definition and Terminology
Everyday caffeine is on everyone’s lips – literally. But what exactly is caffeine? Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaline nitrogen compound. In nature, it is found in and produced as an alkaloid by over 60 different plants. These include not only the coffee shrub but also the tea shrub, the cola tree as well as the mate tree. Caffeine is a natural pesticide for plants: they use it as a protective mechanism against insects and other pests that get paralysed or killed by caffeine.
High doses of caffeine are toxic to humans, as well. However, when consumed in moderation, it boosts the human organism. Drinking a cup of coffee, for example, stimulates your heart and central nervous system. For this reason, the food and luxury food industry purposely uses caffeine as a component in their products.
In its chemically pure form, caffeine is an odourless, white powder with a bitter taste.
The Origin of Caffeine
Chemically speaking, caffeine is a nitrogen compound. In nature the substance is formed during the photosynthesis, for example, of the coffee plant and is deposited in the coffee beans. Of course, by now chemists can also produce caffeine in laboratories. Synthetic caffeine is a white, crystalline powder similar to the substance found in nature. It is used in the production of most caffeinated foods and beverages such as energy drinks. Caffeine is also recovered as a by-product in the production of decaffeinated coffee. During this process, the active ingredient is extracted from the natural coffee bean in the laboratory.
The effect of coffee is undisputed: when you drink it, you feel awake, fresh, and focused. But what actually happens to your body when you drink coffee? And what does caffeine have to do with it?
How Does Caffeine Affect The Human Body?
Through your intestines, the caffeine from your breakfast coffee enters your bloodstream quickly and is thus transported directly into your brain. The chemical structure of caffeine is similar to that of the body’s own neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine’s job is to signal to your body that it is tired. Now if you drink cold drip or another coffee speciality, its caffeine will block the adenosine receptors in your central nervous system. This ensures that instead your brain releases stimulating substances. As a result, the caffeine content in coffee keeps the human body awake and visibly reduces symptoms of fatigue.
Consequently, caffeine stimulates your heart muscle. By doing so, it causes the blood vessels in your heart to dilate. As a result, your body temperature rises. In addition, the blood vessels in your intestines dilate, stimulating digestion. By contrast, the blood vessels in your brain narrow. Therefore, you could say that coffee improves your mental fitness. What is more, caffeine increases the amount of adrenaline in your body making you awake and alert. Finally, it also stimulates your metabolism and relaxes your bronchi. In summary, you can say that your mental and physical performance increases after drinking coffee.
How Long Does Caffeine Last In Your Body?
About 20 to 30 minutes after caffeine intake it enters the bloodstream. However, the intensity and duration of the effect of caffeine depends on several factors. In addition to the ingested amount and the frequency of consumption, these include, for example, age and body weight. Also, the amount of caffeine a person can consume varies from consumer to consumer. Overall, it can take over 6 hours for the liver to break down the entire substance.
For babies and small children, it may even take up to 100 hours. That is why children should not consume products containing caffeine.
What Contains Caffeine?
Caffeine is extracted amongst others from coffee or tea shrubs as well as from cola nuts. In addition to coffee, caffeine is also a component of cola, energy drinks, guarana, cocoa, mate, and many types of tea. The food industry deliberately markets the stimulating effect of caffeine. Many products contain the substance – chocolate, energy drinks, soft drinks – and are marketed mainly for their caffeine content.
The German Coffee Association has compiled a table of average caffeine contents found in different beverages:
|coffee||150 ml||50-100 mg|
|espresso||50 ml||50-150 mg|
|black tea||150 ml||20-60 mg|
|coacoa||150 ml||2-8 mg|
|milk chocolate||100 g||20 mg|
|cola||330 ml||32-60 mg|
|energy drinks||250 ml||80 mg|
Caffeine Content in Coffee
Per cup of coffee you consume about 80-150 mg of caffeine although the caffeine content of different kinds of coffee varies greatly. It all depends on the coffee type, roasting, brewing process, grinding degree, amount of coffee powder and method of preparation.
Cold Drip and its Caffeine Content
In general, it is safe to assume that a long contact time between water and coffee will release more caffeine from the coffee beans than. Accordingly, this affects the cold drip caffeine content. Also, you use more coffee powder on the same amount of water for cold brewed coffee specialties as for regular filtered coffee.
Both cold drip coffee and cold brew coffee contain a relatively high amount of caffeine. However, the cold drip caffeine content also depends on the type and quantity of coffee used as well as on the coffee water. Unfortunately, the information on the exact cold drip caffeine content varies greatly. There are currently no conclusive studies available.
Is caffeine an addictive substance? At this point opinions tend to differ. As with all stimulants, a responsible use of caffeine is recommended when drinking coffee. The so-called habituation effect is often referred to in this discussion. In other words, the effect of caffeine might decrease the more you consume it. As a result, these habituation effects may lead to a steady increase in coffee consumption. In this context, most discussions assume a coffee consumption of at least 8 cups of strong coffee per day. With such a prolonged and excessive consumption it is only logical that side effects can occur.
Symptoms such as anxiety disorders, muscle tremors, nervousness or insomnia can occur. It is precisely in such cases that weaning may make sense under certain circumstances and may, what’s more, not be entirely uncomplicated. Caffeine withdrawal in turn causes physical symptoms such as drowsiness, fatigue or headaches. However, these symptoms occur mainly with the caffeine levels described above and recur after a few days.
Adults can tolerate up to 200 mg of caffeine per day (2-3 cups of coffee). Obviously you should take care to avoid higher doses from 100 milligrams before going to bed as to prevent sleep problems. If you take a closer look at the side effects of caffeine you will quickly notice that the effect of caffeine depends on the correct dosage.
Caffeine is a substance that is both psychoactive and pharmacologically active. For this reason it is increasingly used in medicine. For example, some pain killers contain caffeine. They exploit the stimulating effect of the substance on the central nervous system. Thereby they gently regulate the sensation of pain and, in addition, prevent fatigue which is a common side effect of pain killers.
Caffeine also stimulates the respiratory center. It is therefore used in medicines to treat apnea and pulmonary problems. Caffeine is also used for its effect on cardiac activity. It also has a relaxing effect on the anal muscles and circulates blood through the intestines. Thus it effectively stimulates digestion.
Caffeine is used in some medicinal shampoos, as well. This is due to the fact that caffeine has reactivated hair follicles in laboratory tests. Whether these shampoos actually stimulate hair growth has not yet been conclusively proven.