Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 22, 1998)
Caffeine poses threats to users
By Erin Gibson
It’s the drug of our lifetime.
Cheap. Plentiful. Legal. Invisible.
It evokes a sort of blind faith among thou
sands of college students, professionals and
retired folks who depend on it for energy.
It magnifies their mugs of morning eye
opener. It packs a punch in their
20-ounce quick slams.
It lurks in
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vored treats, fl
and yogurts. ®
some new fruit®
* juices and waters*
in amounts high*
enough to jolt anl
unwary consumer. ’
The drug is caf
feine, and it power;
an explosive ne\
place - one wh<
health risks could
sume Generation X while
the generation consumes it.
New retail shops, magazines,
clubs and Web sites tout caffeine’s
abilities to keep a generation alert and trendy.
But somewhere, mingling among stepped
up colas and trendy java-jolted espresso drinks,
lies the naked truth about capitalism’s coolest
As with any other sinful substance, caffeine
affects health, and nutritionists say consumers
should watch how much they take in.
Caffeine overdose symptoms, including
nervousness, insomnia and irregular heart
beats, can begin after ingesting as little as 250
mg of caffeine, accordmg to the American
A lethal dose is about 10 grams or
more, the association reports, but
that limit varies with an individ
ual’s average, typical caffeine
consumption, body weight
and other health conditions.
Moderate caffeine con
sumption appears safe, said
John Scheer, a University of
Nebraska-Lincoln associate pro
fessor in health and human perfor
But moderate consumption means
drinking no more than two small cups of
conee a day, scheer said, small means about 5
ounces, he added.
The National Coffee Association reports an
8-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains about
135 milligrams of caffeine. Two small cups
would contain about 169 mg.
A 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, the
most popular pop brand among UNL students,
contains about 69 mg, according to the National
Soft Drink Association.
Within five minutes of con
sumption, caffeine stimulates
_ brain activity and
av^ia vjii iiti vt tiiu
1 ings to increase
\ Scheer said
rate, heart rate,
and the amount
of stress hor
mones in the
In a hot environ
diuretic effect - how
it forces the body to
expel water - is
Caffeine also hinders iron
consumption and can sap bones
of calcium, according to sever
ai nutrition reierence dooks.
“If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, you’re
taking a risk for a variety of side effects,”
Yet Americans consume about 150 billion
cups of coffee a year and about 60 million cups
of pop a day. Half of all Americans drink coffee
daily. Many students seem to contribute heavily
to such figures by consuming caffeinated
drinks by the bucketful.
For student java junkies who want to quit
their habit of downing 16-ounce cups of joe
while studying and socializing late nights,
Scheer recommends they wean themselves off
the addictive drug carefully.
Before an important exam or project, “col
lege students who are used to caffeine should
not skip it,” he said.
Withdrawal symptoms include headaches,
drowsiness and fatigue, he said, and could
affect students’ performance.
For students who aren’t caffeine addicts -
and even for those who are - Scheer suggests an
alternative to stepping up caffeine use during
the end-of-the-semester crunch.
“A very natural way to keep the body awake
is a fast 10-minute walk.”
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Product Serving Size Caffeine0
Vivarin 1 tablet 200
regular strength 1 tablet 100
Espresso 1.5 ounces 100
Coffee, brewed 8 ounces 135*
Coffee, instant 8 ounces 95
flavored instant 8 ounces 25-90
decaffeinated 8 ounces 5
Tea, leaf or bag 8 ounces 50’
Iced Tea, bottled 16 ounces 18-40
Tea, green 8 ounces 30
Tea, instant 8 ounces 15
Tea, herbal 8 ounces 0
Ben & Jerry's
No Fat Coffee
Yogurt 1 cup 85
Ice Cream 1 cup 40-60
Coffee Ice Cream 1 cup 58
Chocolate Chunk 1 cup 8
Jolt 16 ounces 100
Mountain Dew 16 ounces 55
Surge 16 ounces 51
Diet Coke 16 ounces 47
Coca-Cola 16 ounces 45
regular & diet 16 ounces 41
Soda 16 ounces 40
Pepsi-Cola 16 ounces 37
Barqs Root Beer 16 ounces 23
7-Up, Sprite 16 ounces 0
Mug Root Beer 16 ounces 0
Orange Soda 16 ounces 0
Java Water 1/2 liter 125
Aqua Java 1/2 liter 50-60
Juiced 10 ounces 60
Yogurt’s, one container
Yogurt 8 ounces 45
Yoplait Cafe Au
Lait Yogurt 6 ounces 5
Yogurt 8 ounces 1
Dark Chocolate Bar 1 bar
(1.5 ounces) 31
milk chocolate 1 bar
(1.5 ounces) 10
hot chocolate 8 ounces 5
0 in mg ’vanes with strength
A cupful af coffee Assies
What’s In a Roast?
The term “roast” refers to how coffee beans are roasted to obtain a particular depth of flavor after they are picked, washed and
dried. The more a bean is roasted, the darker it becomes and the more it trades its coffee traits for a pungent roast aroma and
more roasted flavor. Unfortunately, roast definitions vary with each roaster. To get the “right” roast, inspect the beans before
From seed to shelf
Popular arabica coffee beans grow on large 14- to 20-foot tall bushes and mature inside bright red, cherry-like berries that hang
among green, oval-shaped leaves on bush branches. Each cherry contains two flat seeds, which are coffee beans.
After berries are picked, light green coffee beans are extracted from the fruit. Beans are washed and dried, then roasted to obtain their
light to dark brown color and rich flavor.
sources: Over the Coffee, COFFEE NUTz, The Coffee Science Source
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