The World’s Most Popular Drug


90% of North Americans are hooked on this little white crystalline powder also known as trimethyxanthine. Withdrawal can also occur with symptoms ranging from headaches to vomiting. So, what am I talking about? – good old caffeine! A reader recently voiced his concerns about getting hooked on caffeine and was thinking about switching over to tea. However, he was told that tea has an equivalent amount of caffeine, so what’s he to do?

First off, it looks like tea does have less caffeine than coffee. Check out these quick stats:

  • Coffee: Generic brew 8 oz serving size = 95 mg caffeine vs. Starbucks brew 12 oz = 248 mg
  • Tea: Brewed, black 8 oz serving size = 47 mg caffeine vs. brewed, herbal tea 8 oz = 0 mg
  • Soda: Cola-type 12 oz serving size = 34-57 mg caffeine

So what should you make of these numbers? If your decision is solely based on caffeine, then tea is your answer. However, coffee is more than just a hot drink; it can increase your metabolism and can also stimulate the pleasure centre in your brain by increasing the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Therefore, without your morning coffee you now have two excuses for being grouchy!

Some websites advise that caffeinated beverages should be disregarded as part of daily fluid intake because caffeine increases urine output. However, research studies do not support this common belief. Although caffeine is a mild diuretic, intakes up to 500mg per day do not cause dehydration. Health Canada recommends no more than 400mg per day for healthy adults. When you’re adding up your daily caffeine intake don’t forget foods, such as coffee ice cream and chocolate, which all contain caffeine!

What do I drink? Everything! It all depends on what time it is. Cheers everyone - see you at Starbucks!