Do you know that caffeine can kill? Here are some dramatic consumption statistics from Pakistan
While it remains a popular stress reliever in Pakistan, do you know how much caffeine is too much caffeine?
The article will cover the following points:
- The case of Lachlan Foote and caffeine powder.
- List of foods and drinks with the highest caffeine content.
- Global facts regarding caffeine consumption.
- Facts about Pakistan.
- Health implications of caffeine overdose.
A cup of tea on a tiring day or a can of energy drink during exams when you need to pull an all-nighter are the easiest, most approachable and what is generally regarded as the ‘safest’ resorts. But is it as safe as we anticipate it to be? The reality is a little contradictory.
Being a popular stress reliever and known for its dietary benefits, the hazards can be daunting, if you do not know when to stop. While the adverse impacts have been under study for a while now and 19,000 researches have been conducted on caffeine and coffee in the past 30 years, the tragic death of a young musician urges us to be more vigilant, aware and educated about what we are putting inside our body.
Lachlan Foote died one day before his 22nd birthday. His dead body was found by his parents, lying on the bathroom floor, in the Blue Mountains, Australia, on New Year’s Day in 2018.
The young, energetic and talented sensation lost his life because of putting too much caffeine powder to his drink. Yes, you heard it right. No alcohol overmuch or drug addiction, what cost Lachlan his life was caffeine.
Know Lachlan’s story here:
Easily available without any need for prescription or guidance on how to use and how much to use, caffeine powder is also becoming increasingly popular in Pakistan. Branded and advertised as your ‘ideal workout partner with no added sugar or hazardous health implications’, the consumption needs to be discussed and talk about.
Caffeine is consumed by 80% of the world’s population in one form or another. Speaking of America specifically, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 consume caffeine on a daily basis.
90% of the caffeine that makes a cup of coffee is cleared from the stomach within the first 20 minutes after oral ingestion, with its effects commencing within an hour and lasting for an hour to four hours.
Top 10 foods and drinks highest in caffeine (Source: My Food Data)
Global facts regarding caffeine consumption:
Here are some global facts regarding the consumption of caffeine which will help you understand the magnitude of the issue and how imperative it is to talk about it:
- The percentage of caffeine that is consumed during breakfast hours stands at a dramatic 65%.
- In America and Brazil, a teens consumes100mg of caffeine daily.
- While energy drinks are quite popular, 70% of the caffeine consumed worldwide is in the form of coffee.
- 90% of the world population consumes at least one meal daily with caffeine in it.
- In Finland, people consume the highest quantity, i,e. 400 mg per day.
- The best time to consume caffeine, according to health experts, is 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM and 5:00 PM.
Caffeine consumption in Pakistan and self-reported alertness:
Students from DUHS (The Dow University of Health Sciences) Karachi conducted a cross-sectional study analyzing the consumption trends. Surveys and interviews were conducted from 400 students from January 2016 to May 2016, while the final results made some startling.
The majority (94%) of the students were found to be consuming caffeine in any form such as tea, coffee. However, one very interesting fact about the said study was that 68% of the students believed caffeine impacts their academic performance. But the study and multivariate analyses found no connection between intake of caffeine and academic performance (Read more about the mentioned study here).
Another significant study was carried out by the Faculty of Pharmacy, Jinnah University for women, Karachi. Titled as CAFFEINE: A CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF CAFFEINE INTAKE IN
KARACHI, PAKISTAN, the study was conducted on a sample size of 1500 people and the following results were concluded:
- The highest consumption of caffeine in Karachi has been taken by tea (66%) coffee (21%) then energy drinks (13%).
- 26% of the men consumed one cup daily. Moving forward, 2 cups (40%), 3 cups (8%) and 4 cups (26%).
- For women, the stats were 1 cup (33%), 2 cups (40%), and 3 cups (7%).
- 20% of men consume caffeine when they are tired while 40% consume it in the morning.
- 46% of women consume caffeine when they are tired while 30% consume it in the morning.
Here are the significant findings:
What can too much caffeine do to you?
If you are experiencing any of the following, it is high time for you to take your health into consideration and take a little step back:
- Anxiety: Caffeine is known to increase alertness. It does so by releasing adrenaline, the “fight-or-flight” hormone which is affiliated with increased energy. It can lead to anxiety and nervousness.Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is among the four caffeine-related syndromes present on the list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Insomnia: It is known to keep you awake, which can indeed lead to facing difficulty in restorative sleep. The higher the consumption, the more difficult it is to fall asleep, the studies say.
- Digestive issues: While small amounts can improve your gut motility, larger dosages may lead to loose stools or GERD. When you start experiencing it, it is time to switch to more moderate intake.
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown): Overdosage can lead to Rhabdomyolysis, which is quite a serious condition. The damaged muscle fibers enter the bloodstream, which then results in kidney failure and other problems.
- Addiction: Needless to say, it is addictive and habit-forming. Studies suggest that it triggers certain brain chemicals similar to the way cocaine and amphetamines do. However, the dependency is usually psychological and physical.
- Blood Pressure: Though there is no found correlation between caffeine intake and heart diseases, it is known to impact blood pressure, especially if one of not habitual of consuming it.
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