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History of Caffeine

People have enjoyed caffeinated beverages since ancient times. As long ago as 2,700 B.C. the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung sipped hot brewed tea. Coffee’s origins date back to 575 A.D. when in Africa beans were used as money and consumed as food.

Caffeine is naturally occurring in the leaves, seeds or fruits of more than 63 plant species

worldwide. The most commonly known sources of caffeine are coffee and cocoa beans, cola nuts and tea leaves. The amount of caffeine in food products varies depending on the serving size, the type of product and preparation method. With teas and coffees, the plant variety also affects caffeine content. The reason caffeine is added to some soft drinks is for its flavor characteristics. The level of caffeine is regulated and its presence clearly labeled when added.

Various food consumption surveys show caffeine consumption patterns have not changed significantly over the last decade. A 1996 survey by Barone and Roberts found that caffeine consumption averages around 200 mg per day, and pregnant women tend to consume less caffeine than the general population. A moderate amount of caffeine is about 300 mg of caffeine per day (about 3 cups of coffee or around 60 ounces of caffeinated cola)

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