While caffeine itself is not bad, caffeinated soft drinks are a disaster for weight loss.
First Some Background on Caffeine
The word “caffeine” came from the German word kaffee and the French word café, each meaning coffee. After ingesting caffeine, it is completely absorbed within 30 to 45 minutes, and its effects substantially diminish within about three hours. It is eventually excreted so there is no accumulation in the body. Approximately 80% of the world’s population consumes it on a daily basis.
Effects of Caffeine
- Caffeine is a CNS (central nervous system) stimulant
- Caffeine is addictive
- Caffeine is a mild diuretic
Caffeine as a Stimulant
Caffeine is considered the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world. Approximately 80% of the world’s population consumes it on a daily basis. We have a choice and choose caffeinated beverages for a reason.
Caffeine is the only drug classified as a safe and effective stimulant by the FDA and allowed to be included in OTC stimulant products. Caffeine belongs to the group of drugs classified as xanthines. The xanthines also include the agents theophylline and theobromine; however, caffeine is the only compound of this group that is administered routinely as a therapeutic central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive medication in this country. It is consumed regularly by adults and children (more than 7 million kilograms consumed yearly in the United States) and is found in many popular beverages.
Psychiatric diagnoses are categorized by a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). This manual covers all mental-health disorders for both children and adults. The DSM-IV has a proposed diagnosis of caffeine withdrawal, instead of an official diagnosis, to encourage further research on the range and specificity of caffeine-withdrawal symptoms.
A review and analysis of the effects of caffeine abstinence in humans claims that the withdrawal symptoms experienced are proof of physical dependence. These symptoms include headache, tiredness/fatigue, decreased energy/activeness, decreased alertness/attentiveness, drowsiness/sleepiness, decreased contentedness/well-being, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and felling muzzy/foggy/not clearheaded. The study also found that the onset of withdrawal symptoms typically begins 12 to 24 hours after abstinence, with the peak intensity occurring at 20 to 51 hours. The duration of withdrawal symptoms ranged from two to nine days. This is a considerable amount of time that makes it easy to understand why people would have a hard time omitting caffeine from their diet.
Caffeine as a Diuretic
Diuretics make you urinate free water. Some research has shown that caffeine intake can also affect our fluid balance. In one study, 12 caffeine consumers were told to abstain from caffeine for five days and were then given 642 mg of caffeine in the form of coffee. Their urine output increased when given the caffeine.
What are the effects of Caffeine in Soft Drinks and Weight Loss?
- We already know that caffeine is a stimulant and addictive. Thus we crave products that have it. This is good for soft drink makers bottom line.
- We know that caffeine makes you lose water and thus feel thirstier. This is also good for soft drink makers bottom line as it raises the chance of you buying another of their soft drinks since the caffeine and salt in the last just made you thirstier.
- When purified, caffeine produces an intensely bitter white powder that provides a distinctive taste in soft drinks. The soft drink makers have to cover up the taste of the bitter caffeine with sugar. So they choose the cheapest sweetest sugar they can find, which is High Fructose Corn Syrup. The dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup are enormous, especially to weight loss. The prevalence of High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of the leading causes of obesity in adults, teenagers and children.
Putting it all together we can see that caffeine in soft drinks is all a part of equation soft drink makers have put together to maximize their profits. They use caffeine to make you crave their products more and to cover up the taste of it they make their soft drinks even sweeter via High Fructose Corn Syrup.
The final word on Caffeine and Soft Drinks.
The answer is simple. Just avoid all soft drinks. They are scientifically formulated to make you fat and the results on the general population are clear. Caffeine is just used to play a small part in this.
As for caffeine itself. Have some coffee or drop caffeine pills to get your caffeine fix.
Caffeine is naturally found in certain leaves, seeds, and fruits of over 60 plants worldwide. The most common sources in our diet are coffee, tea leaves, cocoa beans, cola, and energy drinks. Caffeine can also be produced synthetically and added to food, beverages, supplements, and medications. Product labels are required to list caffeine in the ingredients but are not required to list the actual amounts of the substance. A low to moderate intake is 130 to 300 mg of caffeine per day, while heavy caffeine consumption corresponds to more than 6,000 mg/day. It is estimated that the average daily caffeine consumption among Americans is about 280 mg/day, while 20% to 30% consume more than 600 mg daily. The caffeine content in some common sources of caffeine are listed below:
|Red Bull (8.2 oz)||80.0|
|Mountain Dew Code Red||55.0|
|Diet Mountain Dew||55.0|
|Shasta Cherry Cola||44.4|
|Shasta Diet Cola||44.4|
|Diet Dr. Pepper||41.0|
|Diet Sunkist Orange||41.0|
|Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb||40.0|
|Slim-Fast Cappuccino Delight Shake||40.0|
|Diet Pepsi Jazz||37.5|
|Wild Cherry Pepsi||38.0|
|Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi||36.0|
|Diet Pepsi Twist||36.0|
|Diet Cherry Coke||34.0|
|Snapple Flavored Teas (Reg. or Diet)||31.5|
|Canada Dry Cola||30.0|
|A&W Creme Soda||29.0|
|Nestea Sweet Iced Tea||26.5|
|Nestea Unsweetened Iced Tea||26.0|
|Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus (16.9 oz)||23.0|
|Barq’s Root Beer||23.0|
|A&W Diet Creme Soda||22.0|
|Slim-Fast Chocolate Flavors||20.0|
|Lipton Brisk, All Varieties||9|
|Canada Dry Diet Cola||1.2|
|Diet Rite Cola||0|
|Mug Root Beer||0|
|Diet Barq’s Root Beer||0|
|Minute Maid Orange||0|
|A&W Root Beer||0|
|Beverage (8-oz or as noted)||milligrams|
|Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz)||330|
|Starbucks Grande Latte (16 oz)||150|
|Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee (16 oz)||143|
|McDonald’s Coffee (small)||100|
|Coffee, Espresso (2 ounces)||100|
|Tea, brewed, imported brands (avg.)||60|
|Tea, brewed, U.S. brands (avg.)||40|
|Starbucks Grande Decaf Latte (16 oz)||13|
|Chocolate Milk (8 oz)||5|
|Coffee, Decaf, brewed||3-4|
|Coffee, Decaf, instant||2-3|