Monday, October 31, 2005

Coffee : "Friend or Foe"?

It has been brought to my attention that I drink a lot of coffee. This is most likely a true comment, due to my arrival at school with a cup of coffee in hand every morning. A nice cup of coffee in the morning is not the worst way to pass the first several hours till you get your eyes open. This addictive stimulant is Legal, Cheap, and in your face. Here in America we can find no shortage of Coffee shops and little kiosks where you can purchase your Java for minimal expense. I believe that we should always have an understanding of any substance we ingest. Coffee should not there for be overlooked. Ok, off we go to find out the finer points of our friend coffee.

How much Caffeine is in a drink, food, pills? Lets Check it out. The National Soft Drink Assoc.... NSDA ... (can you believe they have a job looking at Sodas?)
They gave us some #'s about mgs. of Caffeine per 12 oz. Soda... here are a few of the favorites.
Good old Jolt cola leading the way with 71.2 mgs., followed closely by sugar-free Mr. Pibb @ 58.8 mgs, Mt. Dew @ 55.0, then we see a little drop about 10 pt.s to hit Coca-cola weighing in at 45.6, Pepsi brings up the tail end of our list at a meger 37.2 mgs. (No wonder you can't get a buzz on the stuff) ... That wraps up the Soda side lets see how that compairs with a cup of Coffee.

In your standard 7 oz coffee we see a variance by how the coffee was made. A drip coffee is kickin with a rip roaring 115-175 mgs, Espresso 100 mgs. (thats a single shot) about 1.5 oz. ZAP! If your brewing the stuff your gonna see only about 80-135mgs. Instand 65-100, Tea-30-70mgs depending on if its iced or instant. Now we have established how much Caffeine you will get.. Lets see what the stuff will do to you. ( Here is what the Caffeine Molecule looks like)

In Humans the Caffeine Molecule works primarily on the Brain and skeletal muscles. Caffeine is an alkaloid. We find it lurking in Cacao bens, cola nuts, and several other plants.
There are numerous compounds called alkaloids, among them we
have the methylxanthines, with three distinguished compounds:
caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine,found in cola nuts,
coffee, tea, cacao beans, mate and other plants. These compounds
have different biochemical effects, and are present in different
ratios in the different plant sources. These compounds are very
similar and differ only by the presence of methyl groups in two
positions of the chemical structure. They are easily oxidized to
uric acid and other methyluric acids which are also similar in
chemical structure.

This explains a bit of why after drinking that cup of coffee you
may soon feel the need to use the restroom. Life for the average
Joe begins with a cup of this lovely nectur. A steaming brew of
Chemical compounds your enzymes are all to ready to breakdown.
It is this wonderful point that I will attempt to address in my next
Caffine article. Rich