Caffeine, the wonder-addiction. Why do I say that? Because by slipping it into foods you consume, the company creates a need in you. You have to have more of the product to feel energized so you can compete at work or school. Basically, you are being trapped into becoming a permanent customer. It’s the same reason why Coca-Cola used to lace its products with cocaine until it was forced to stop. That’s when caffeine becomes creepy.
Nowadays, caffeine is the drug of choice. Did you know that chocolate has added caffeine? You can find it listed in the ingredients as Other Flavors or Spices or, my favorite misnomer, Natural Flavorings (which are all code for “we aren’t going to tell you what’s in here”). According to Honor Whiteman in Medical News Today, so are things like jellybeans, waffles, chewing gum and syrup. That’s crazy (in my humble opinion).
Say you understand the negative affects of caffeine on the body and brain, so you limit yourself to 1 cup of coffee in the morning, but you also have waffles and syrup, you chew some gum on the way to work so you won’t have coffee breath, and you grab a handful of jellybeans from the candy dish at the reception desk. Then you sit at your desk wondering why you feel anxious. It’s because you’ve plied yourself with more than one coffee cup’s worth of caffeine.
Later on, your energy crashes, so you grab another handful of jellybeans and you go home that night to a fitful, restless sleep. The next morning, you drag yourself to the kitchen and decide to have waffles again because you felt so energized after breakfast yesterday.
Now apply that same scenario to your fifteen year old daughter. After her breakfast of waffles and syrup, she spies the pack of gum you left on the counter and snags it, shoving a piece in her mouth. By the time she gets to school, it’s lost its flavor, so she trades it for another. The pack is gone by the time she gets to lunch. There she has a diet soda she brought from home because she’s trying to lose weight.
If her classes are not on a rotating schedule, every day she experiences the jitters and anxiety in one particular subject, and her energy crashes during another. She’s determined to go to bed early tonight so she won’t feel tired at the end of the school day, but as she lies in bed, she feels anxious when she can’t fall asleep right away. The only time she really feels good is after breakfast, so she takes to snacking on waffles and syrup after school, and sometimes feels the jitters while doing her homework.
Even if you limit your daily amount of caffeine, how can you avoid it when it’s contained in unexpected foods? Everyone knows energy drinks and sodas are loaded with caffeine, but how about these 10 Surprises?
Caffeine Becomes Creepy
- Surprise #1: A Clif Bar Energy Bar has more caffeine than a can of Coke.
- Surprise #2: A cup of Dunkin’Donuts decaf coffee can contain 32 mg of caffeine—that’s more than a can of cola.
- Surprise #3: A scoop of java or mocha ice cream has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. But you had two scoops after dinner? And you were wondering why you couldn’t fall asleep?
- Surprise #4: According to http://EatThis.com, “Fail to read the label before throwing back a bottle of 100% natural Avitae [water], and you’ll have consumed 125 mg of caffeine — the equivalent of about two shots of espresso.”
- Surprise #5: And what about weight loss pills? A daily dose of Zantrex-3 is like having 12 cups of coffee, according to a 2005 analysis conducted by http://ConsumerLab.com. Dexatrim Max Daytime has 200mg of caffeine per capsule.
- Surprise #6: Two Excedrin Migraine tablets have the same amount of caffeine as a Starbucks Light Frappuccino with espresso. So do 2 Excedrin. Midol is right behind them with 60 mg.
- Surprise #7: SumSeeds infuses it Energized Sunflower Seeds with caffeine, about the same amount you’d find in 4 cans of coke or orange soda.
- Surprise #8: Sturm foods added caffeine to oatmeal.
- Surprise #9: A serving of Perky Jerky has as much caffeine as a can of Red Bull.
- Surprise #10: Caffeine Informer says “Natural” sweetener Guarana has 47 mg of caffeine.
If you want to get more information on caffeine, everything from hidden sources to caffeine allergy symptoms, visit Caffeine Informer.
Join Deborah Ann Davis at an all-inclusive weekend retreat for mothers and their teenage daughters September 22-24. Learn more about the Mother-Daughter Relationship Retreat here: http://bit.ly/2wTpE2u