We all know that coffee contains caffeine. In fact, most of us probably consume coffee every morning to help get us through the day. The word “caffeine” comes from the French word “cafe” which translates to coffee, so it is no surprise that most of us associate this drug with java. What you may not know is that caffeine can also be found in many other foods, some which may surprise you. If you eat these foods on a regular basis, you may be consuming more caffeine than you realize, leading to headaches, indigestion, poor sleep, and many other side effects
Tea. Most blends of tea – white, green, yellow, black, oolong, and Camellia Pu-erh – all come from a plant known as sinesis, which contains caffeine. The amount of caffeine in your tea will depend on its level of oxidation. For example, black tea is fully oxidized and contains the most caffeine, while white tea is the least oxidized and contains the least amount of caffeine. Teas that don’t come from Camellia sinesis, such as herbal teas, may be caffeine-free.
Chocolate. Cocoa beans contain small amounts of caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the higher the caffeine content. Dark chocolate contains the most caffeine, while white chocolate contains the least because it does not contain any cocoa solids. Knowing this may make you think twice the next time you want to eat a chocolate bar before bed.
Soft Drinks. Most dark colas, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, contain a noticeable amount of caffeine, while light-colored sodas, like Sprite or 7-Up, have less
caffeine or none at all. Diet colas usually have less caffeine than their traditional counterparts.
Energy Drinks. Energy drinks contain a variety of stimulants of which caffeine is a major component. Some energy drinks can contain even more caffeine than regular coffee.
Protein Bars. Many protein bars contain trace amounts of caffeine. This is often by design, as many people find combining the energy from a protein bar and wakefulness from having a cup of coffee to be a satisfying combination. Other times the caffeine content may be a by-product of the snack being chocolate or coffee-flavored.
Pain Killers. Studies have shown that caffeine can relieve headaches, increase stamina, and overall improve the efficacy pain killers But if you don’t check the label, you may end up consuming more caffeine than you realize, and the side effects will outweigh the benefits.
Dietary Supplements. Many weight-loss pills contain caffeine, even though caffeine does nothing to help you lose weight. While caffeine may gate your appetite for a short time, there is no evidence that its long-term consumption will lead to weight loss.
Decaffeinated Coffee. In spite of the name, decaf coffee is not completely free of caffeine. The US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations state that at least 97 percent of the caffeine in the coffee bean must be removed for the product to carry the decaffeinated label. It may not seem like much, but coffee can be made from different kinds of beans, and some beans can contain twice or more caffeine than others. If you drink too much decaf coffee, you’ll find that the caffeine adds up very quickly.
You may be surprised to know that some of the foods on this list contain caffeine. You may have even tried checking the label to see how much caffeine a product contains, but chances are you won’t find anything. This is because the FDA does not require product labels to disclose the amount of caffeine it contains. While moderate consumption of caffeine is harmless and can even provide certain health benefits, too much caffeine is detrimental to good health. If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, avoiding these foods a few hours before bedtime may be the solution you’ve been looking for.