Caffeine has been used by humans for centuries as a stimulant ever since they were discovered.
One of the most common sources of caffeine is coffee. Many people are sensitive to caffeine and use coffee to keep them awake at night or to wake themselves up in the morning.
But did you know that caffeine isn’t limited to just coffee?
There are many other drinks that have caffeine too, so you know what to take or avoid, depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine.
1. Chocolate Drinks Like Milo
Malted cocoa drinks like Milo has caffeine too. This is because cocoa pods naturally contain caffeine.
Although cocoa beans don’t have as much caffeine as coffee beans, it still has about 20mg of caffeine per 100 grams of chocolate.
The darker the chocolate, the higher the amount of caffeine contained within. So, this means that dark chocolate drinks will stimulate you more than a regular milk chocolate drink.
The only chocolate that doesn’t have any caffeine at all is white chocolate as it’s made with cocoa fats without the parts with the bitter caffeine.
2. Non-Cola Sodas
You’ve probably heard that coca-cola has caffeine, but you probably didn’t realize that many other sodas have caffeine too. Drinks like Mountain Dew, Dr Pepper, and even some Orange Sodas have caffeine too.
It helps to check the ingredients and labels to know whether the sodas you’re buying have caffeine or not.
3. Tea and Iced Tea
People go for tea instead of coffee before bed because they don’t want to be kept awake at night.
If you’re someone who thinks that way, you’re wrong.
Normal tea made from tea leaves actually have caffeine too, as much as dark chocolate drinks.
Both freshly brewed tea and bottled tea contains caffeine that affects your sleep patterns. This is why it’s a bad idea to drink tea to calm yourself down before bedtime. Instead of tea, drink a glass of warm milk or juice instead.
Green tea is the tea that has the highest amount of caffeine. In ancient times, Buddhist monks would drink cup after cup of green tea to help them through the long hours of meditation.
4. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are the ones that come in small cans and bottles. You know, like Red Bull and Monster. These drinks have a higher level of sugars, like glucose as well as several vitamins and of course, caffeine.
It’s not advisable to drink these drinks unless you really need the added energy, like when you’re carrying out labour-intensive tasks (like moving houses) or sports.
Some people think that they can ace their IPPT by having one before the test, but we’ll leave that to your own judgement.
5. Decaf Coffee
Whenever you see decaf coffee, you may think that it doesn’t contain any caffeine.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true at all.
Most cafes that offer decaf coffee actually brew coffee with a lower amount of caffeine rather than being caffeine free.
In fact, most decaf coffees tested actually have as much caffeine as a usual milk chocolate drink.
There are still many benefits of drinking decaf coffee, so you shouldn’t dismiss them just like that.
It’s still advisable to drink decaf if you react negatively to caffeine but still want the taste of coffee. Just keep in mind that there’s still some caffeine in the beverage that you can react to.
6. Caffeinated Alcoholic Drinks
There are several caffeinated alcoholic concoctions out, like Irish Coffee, Cuba Libre Jagerbomb and Vodka Red Bull.
They actually have a caffeine drink as part of the concoction, like coffee or an energy drink.
Medical experts actually advice against consuming them as the combination of caffeine and alcohol can send your blood pressure into overdrive, depending on the amount you consume.
In some countries, the sale of these alcohol-caffeine concoctions is heavily regulated and monitored. That means that the amount of both alcohol and caffeine in the drinks has to be below a certain level before it’s sold.
7. Caffeinated Root Beer
Traditional English root beer can sometimes be found as a non-soda version. Basically, non-carbonated root beer is a herbal drink very much similar to our ‘Liang Cha’ or cooling herbal teas.
Root beer is made by brewing the sassafras root with water and sugar.
Although root beer by itself is caffeine free, many brands fortify their drinks with caffeine. So again, checking labels at the supermarket is important before you purchase it and down it before bedtime.
8. Guarana Drinks
Guarana is a fruit that comes from Brazil and it has been turned into a very successful soft drink that has been exported all over the world.
The Guarana fruit has a moderate level of natural caffeine so that goes into the drinks as well.
The Guarana drink contains about 30mg of caffeine per can. This is slightly higher than chocolate drinks.
Guarana tastes very interesting, like a mix of bubblegum and cherries as well as other citrus fruits.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has become very popular among health enthusiasts in recent years.
It has plenty of health benefits including lowering high blood pressure and preventing cancer and heart disease.
The tea is fermented by SCOBY or a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.
As the base beverage for Kombucha is tea, you can expect that there would be caffeine in Kombucha too, although at rather moderate levels that aren’t enough to cause strong effects on your sleep habits.
10. Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate (pronounced yer-bah mah-tay) is a drink made from the leaves of the Yerba plant.
Fresh green leaves are dried and then brewed into a tea.
The amount of caffeine in this leaf is actually as high as coffee and it’s drunk primarily in Latin America, including places like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and the like.
Traditionally, the drink is served in a clay gourd and consumed before the working day begins to give workers the energy they need, just like coffee.
Caffeine isn’t bad for you in moderate amounts.
However, you should regulate and control your intake so that you don’t depend on it to function on a daily basis.
Anything in uncontrollably high amounts can definitely have a negative effect on your body, while anything in balanced amounts can actually be beneficial.