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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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5 Caffeine intake

Fluids and foods containing caffeine can have a diuretic effect. The European Food Safety Authority (2015) suggests safe daily limits of 400 mg for adults and no more than 200 mg for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant. Coffee is also a stimulant and can be addictive in larger quantities.

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cola, chocolate and energy drinks, as well as some medications.

The average caffeine content of some common drinks is as follows:

  • instant coffee: 100 mg per mug
  • filter coffee: 140 mg per mug
  • cola: up to 40 mg per can
  • energy drinks: up to 80 mg per can.

Dark chocolate contains about 43 mg caffeine per 100 g; milk chocolate has less at about 20 mg per 100 g; white chocolate has no caffeine. Also, it is important to remember the fat and sugar content of the various chocolates.

Some medications also contain caffeine, for example some formulations of paracetamol and cold and flu remedies. The popularity of caffeine tablets with caffeine contents from 100 to 200 mg can cause concern if they are misused as a method for weight loss or keeping psychologically active.

Activity 5 Caffeine intake

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes.
  • How much daily caffeine do you estimate you ingest?
  • Is it more than the recommended amount?
  • What else could you have instead of coffee if you need to reduce your intake?

Click ‘Save’ when you are satisfied with what you have written.

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