Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please keep me awake... Yawn!!!

I never used to drink coffee in the morning… and if I did, it would have probably been because I am out with some friends for breakfast or brunch and therefore I was considered to be a social coffee drinker. I do not like drinking Turkish coffee, which is usually served in Arab houses unless my sister in-law promised to read the cup afterward. I love drinking the traditional cardamom filled Arabic coffee which is bitter and just simply delicious and aromatic but that was about it.

I am finding out that the older I am getting the more coffee I am drinking… and instant coffee which is not very satisfying really. Funny though, I do not drink it at home… not on weekends or while I’m on vacation… The only place I drink it is at work… Why is that? Am I trying to stop myself from falling asleep or has it become a ritual… I see others doing it so I copy cat?
I know that the caffeine in coffee is what stimulates me to stay awake but during university,  it did not matter how many cups of coffee I drank to keep me awake to study for my finals, I always managed to sleep well that night. And so, I stopped drinking it… I did not see that it had any effect on me except that it would stain my teeth if I drank too much of it. I am also not sure it has any effect on me now… I mean I drink it but I still yawn straight after… what keeps me going is the amount of work that I have to do…
My husband drinks a can of Coke or Pepsi on our long road trip drives. He says that it keeps him awake and alert…they both have caffeine of course so same stimulant as coffee but  they're cold… I remember once while road tripping around Africa, Zambia to be exact, it was my turn to drive and usually if the terrain is all the same and just straight forward, that makes me a tad sleepy… so instead of coffee or Coke to keep me awake my husband gave me a silver can of Red Bull… and Whoa! MAAAN! I tell ya that went straight to my brain and to every single capillary in my body… it did the trick... but I never ever imagined that it would do it so quickly.
Now I know that the slightly addictive substance in the fizzy drinks and coffee is caffeine… but what is in Red Bull?  I knew that it definitely had caffeine in it but I was positive that it contained something else …why did it have such a quick and strong effect on me when drinking a cup of coffee did not?
 I searched on the Internet to find out the other ingredients. I found out that it is an Austrian product but the entrepreneur who created it was inspired by the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng which translated to the red bovine (kind of like the water buffalo that you see all around Thailand… even in Bangkok).
I was also surprised to find out that Red Bull contained 80 mg/250 ml of caffeine which is the same amount that you find in a cup of coffee… what? Really? 

So why was drinking it have a different effect one me? There are, of course, other ingredients in a Red Bull; taurine, gluguronolactone (?????), B vitamins, sucrose and glucose... Taurine is an amino acid and it supports neurological development, has antioxidant properties and it is believed to improve mental performance if it was combined with caffeine... AHA! now I get it.... Coffee does not have that extra ingredient in it... maybe that was why its affect on me was instant.

We gotta be careful as to the amount of coffee or energy drinks that we consume in a day or a week. Too much caffeine and energy drinks can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, interrupts our sleep patterns and can cause nervousness and irritability due to lack of sleep or extreme alertness. We also have to be careful about the calories that we intake due to the amount of sugar that these energy or fizzy drinks have.
So remember... everything in moderation!!!

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1 comment:

Birdie said...

When I was working in offices I drank coffee but I only drink a couple of cups a month now. It makes me edgy and speeds my heart rate up. I already have a tachycardia and an irregular heart beat so I really have to be careful.

I think I drank coffee when working if offices because it gave me an excuse to have a break. Everyone fled to the coffee machine at 8:30 before work started and 3:30 before our day ended at 5:00. It was a social thing. It was a time for a short visit or to hear a joke, a time to flirt and talk about the customers. hee hee