The majority of us drink soda for one simple reason - caffeine. It’s the kick we need to go into that after lunch meeting or to get through the rest of the work day. It’s our afternoon equivilent of the morning cup of coffee for those that don’t drink coffee in the afternoon. But getting too much caffeine is bad for you, especially in this day and age where obesity looms as one of the top killers for anyone that’s carrying more than their share of weight.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a white crystaline powder that tastes very bitter. Medically speaking, caffeine is cardiac stimulant and a diuretic, meaning that it helps to produce urine. At the very heart of the matter though, caffeine is a highly addictive drug. While not as horrible as the effects of drugs like heroin, caffeine is the type of drug that stimulates parts of the brain that cause it to crave it more.
Why is caffeine so effective? The reason why people drink way more than they should is the feelings of alertness and energy that the caffeine gives us. Basically, there is a chemical in your brain that attaches itself to cause drowsiness, therefore your brain tells you that it wants to sleep. Caffeine looks similar to this chemical and attaches itself to your brain; however, instead of making your brain feel sleepy, it’s suddenly alert and ready to go.
Caffeine Content of Sodas
The caffeine content of sodas is usually around 40 to 50 mg per a 12-ounce can. However, there are some sodas are either below or higher than these counts. Despite there being a wide variety of sodas on the market, the big two are still Coca-Cola and Pepsi. If one of their regular sodas is your favorite, you’ll be happy to know that both are below the line, with Coke having 35 mg of caffeine and Pepsi around the same number with 34 to 36 mg.
In fact, most of the Coke or Pepsi line either fall under or within the standards. Higher content can be found in many of the citrus sodas, like Mountain Dew or Mello Yello, which were over at nearly 54 miligrams. The highest however was that of Vault cola at 71 mg.
So what’s a safe level of caffeine? Most in the medical profession will agree that at 300 mg daily is safe; that’s about 3 cups of coffee in the morning or six sodas per day. But still, limiting the intake is far better than hitting the maximum amount. Ask anyone who is suffering from caffeine withdrawal how the headaches, nausea, and restlessness feels.
If you still need to have your soda, try drinking the clear sodas, like 7UP or Sprite, which have no caffeine or that of the variety of root beer, which sees about 24 mg.