Coffee or chai? Or, say, an energy drink?
The grip of a hot mug and sipping the drink is the mandatory morning routine in every household. It is the preference of taste buds that makes us choose. It is the action of caffeine that gives us the instant energy thrust to start our day afresh. The mid-day breaks where we grab an energy drink also contain artificially added caffeine powder.
Do you know caffeine powder has always been on the headlines due to its ambivalent properties?
Brief journey of caffeine powder
The naturally occurring caffeine is widely found in beans of coffee and cocoa. Other natural sources of caffeine include stems, leaves, and barks of nearly 60 plant species. These parts of the plants are used to extract powdered caffeine.
When all the water content is removed from the extracted caffeine, it is known as caffeine anhydrous. Caffeine powder is the most popular form of caffeine anhydrous.
When other chemicals and the water contents are filtered out of the caffeine powder, the bitter crystalline powder is obtained in its purest form. This pure caffeine powder is said to be more dangerous than powdered caffeine or anhydrous caffeine.
This white powdered caffeine can also get manufactured at laboratories. Powdered caffeine, caffeine pills, and pure caffeine powder are synthesized and sold by many well-known brands on online shopping platforms. It is legal but not regulated, unlike other psychoactive drugs.
Quality over quantity? Both matters here
Since it is easily accessible, many people, cafe owners, restaurant owners buy this tasteless ingredient. They use it in different culinary items they make in their kitchen, particularly drinks, cakes, chocolate items, etc. The question is: are they aware of the amount they are adding to it?
- The FDA states that one tablespoon of highly concentrated powdered caffeine, i.e., pure caffeine powder is equivalent to 28 cups of coffee.
- 400mg per day is the limit for you (hopefully, you are an adult by now!). Do keep a check on the number.
- Succeeding the previous, not more than 4-5 cups of coffee a day is permissible. But what type of coffee are you having?
- Brewing techniques matter. An espresso contains 60-102.67 mg per serving, while a decaf instant coffee supplies 2-3 mg per serving.
- Regular kitchen appliances are just not enough to measure such a critical amount. So it is advisable to use appropriate electronic gadgets for the measurement.
Caffeine powder in food items, drugs, or beverages goes unnoticed. Even if it is present, it is not possible to detect just at a glance or simply by tasting. A slight taste of bitterness might crop in, but its presence can’t be assured. That being a matter of concern potent to risking public health.
How does caffeine work on our body?
Whenever we feel a little low or exhausted, we crave a bite of dark chocolate. Somehow, it elevates our mood and relieves stress. It makes us alert and replenished. That’s the effect produced when a little amount of caffeine interacts with our brain.
Hey, wait. That does not mean that you binge on the entire choco bar in another bite. That’s way more harmful than you can imagine. Also, regular use reduces its effect noticeably.
Caffeine resembles the structure of inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. But it has the opposite effect on our body. While adenosine bound with its receptor induces sleep, on the other hand, 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione (that’s caffeine’s IUPAC Id) prevents us from sleeping.
Why do people buy caffeine powder?
Well, we have plenty of reasons to buy it!
- Caffeine is a stimulant with no nutritional values of its own. People use it as a supplement.
- Many use it for pre-workout.
- Athletes use caffeinated drinks to stay active and energized.
- Students often use it to uplift their mood and enhance concentration.
- Unfortunately, many use it as an addictive drug.
- Busy people who work round the clock need it for the namesake. Caffeine triggers the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline. It is the hormone that prepares the body for ‘fight’ or ‘flight’.
- Most importantly, people who want sugar or any added chemicals in the market available energy-drinks or beverages buy to use it in their own desired way.
Side effect of caffeine powder
How can a dietary supplement be notorious?
Remember, at the beginning of this article, we said that caffeine powder has always been on the headlines?
In the past years, there have been death cases reportedly due to caffeine overdose. The reports mentioned that the intake was in the form of powdered caffeine. And that most of them were either teenagers or young adults.
Post such cases in 2014, although the FDA issued notices against many brands to check their product, strict regulations are yet to be imposed. Recently, in 2020 a similar death case of caffeine powder overdosage of a young man was reported again in the US.
Symptoms of caffeine overdose.
Caffeine has a diuretic effect. Pregnant women are advised to cut down caffeine intake in these artificial forms. Long-term use of caffeine has negative implications on health.
As they say, excess of anything is bad for health. Extreme levels of caffeine invite unwanted serious health complications. Overdosage of powdered caffeine, pure caffeine powder, or any form of it can lead to a sudden hike in blood pressure. This often results in death following a heart attack or seizures.
However, controlled consumption of caffeine is okay. Just don’t forget to note that you are not becoming caffeine-addicted. The majority of caffeine’s beneficiary effects are for the initial days. If used for a while, it needs to be used in higher quantities to be effective.
Checklist before buying a packet of caffeine powder
- Do you need it?
- What is your routine?
- Did you consult your general physician?
- Know how to measure the safe dose of caffeine powder?
- Do you have the proper scaling device?
- Check the brand’s reputation.
- What does the customer review say?
In this article, we have tried to cover almost all the positive and negative sides associated with the ‘caffeine powder’. Provided the negative impacts of caffeine on health, there are always two sides to a coin.
We have sighted points in support of its use as well. So if you want to include it in your diet chart, make sure you follow all the measures and have green ticks throughout the checklist.