With our recent discussion regarding the growing dependence on mobile devices when out on the road, we thought we’d shed some light on another dependency that is sure to be no stranger to our community: Caffeine.  No matter if you take it in small doses via sodas or teas or in 36 ounce quadruple espressos nearly every American consumes caffeine every day. Most of us simply equate caffeine with being productive and awake but what is it, really? And how can you make sure you’re not overloading yourself and becoming too reliant on it?

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Where Does It Come From?

Naturally occurring in 60 different plants, coffee beans, tea leaves and guarana to name a few, caffeine is a chemical that works by increasing your dopamine levels and blocking adenosine receptors. The science-y description is that caffeine is a crystalline xanathine alkaloid that acts as a psychoactive stimulant drug.

It is extracted by pressure cooking the beans or leaves with CO2 to produce the drug in a powder form. Check this sweet infographic for a more in-depth look at the physical effects of introducing caffeine into your body.

Though it can temporarily enhance comprehension, memory, reflexes, and clarity of thought, the effects generally diminish within 3 hours. It is also has a significant chance of causing  physical dependence and withdrawals that last up to 9 days and include headache, tiredness, depression and irritability.

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How Much is Too Much?

For reference, caffeine intoxication (the jitters) occurs after consuming around 300mg of caffeine. Here’s an interesting chart that displays many popular drinks and where they rank on the scale of 0-300. Like to do the dew? Mountain Dew surprisingly only contains about 60mg of caffeine as most of its kick is from high sugar content. On the other side of the scale, a tall coffee from Starbucks will shoot you up with nearly 270mg of caffeine. The key to avoiding a caffeine overload is to be aware of how much you are consuming and the timeline for how long it should still be in your system to avoid jumping above the 300mg threshold.

Coffee Lovers Tip

Yearly, nearly 50% of the caffeine consumed in our country comes from coffee.

Of course, PC Housing has all the luxuries of home in our corporate housing suites and furnished apartments. Included in that list is a coffee maker, but few people truly know how to brew good coffee at home. These tips from Newsweek should help you step up your home brewing game for better drip coffee when out on the road.

Images: Newsweek, Nonmaleficence