Foods containing caffeine often go unrecognized, making the task of limiting intake of the stimulant challenging. People who want to control the amount of caffeinated substances should consider more than coffee, soda and energy drinks.
Why Restrict Caffeinated Foods
Caffeinated foods may contribute to a person's struggle with weight gain and hunger. The stimulant can have the following effects on the body:
- Increased appetite
- Raised cortisol levels
- Increased levels of insulin
- Increased levels of glucose
Each of these factors can combine with caffeine-induced stress, making the process of controlling weight more difficult for many dieters. The substance is a natural diuretic that can lead to water retention.
Other Side Effects
Weight control isn't the only consideration when it comes to caffeine and health. The stimulant can have the following side effects when consumed in excess:
- Frequent urination
- Accelerated heart rate
- Stomach upset
Some suggest that excessive intake of caffeine is related to certain psychological problems including:
- Hyperactivity in some children
Ideally, caffeine should be taken in moderation but many people may ingest caffeinated foods without realizing it. Limiting intake begins with recognizing foods containing caffeine.
Foods Containing Caffeine
The foods that top the list of the highest levels of caffeine are beverages. Many people are well aware of the following caffeinated drinks:
- Low calorie, non-cola carbonated soda containing aspartame
- Low calorie colas containing aspartame or saccharine
- Energy drinks
- Some types of alcoholic liqueurs
Beverages that have artificial sweeteners and reduced calories seem to have higher levels of caffeine. However, many candies top the list of caffeinated foods.
Candies and Sweets
Many confections contain generous amounts of caffeine. Some, like chocolate covered espresso beans, are obviously caffeinated but others contain caffeine as an additive.
- Sweet and semisweet
- Milk chocolate
- Fat free cookies
- Frozen Yogurt
- Ice cream
- Java Pops
- Chai Mints
- Green Tea Warp Mints
- Penguin mints and cinnamons
- Caffeinated Energy Strips
- Caffeinated Fruity Lollipops
- HyDrive Energy Chews
- Caffeinated Nixie Tubes
- Foosh Energy Mints
- Atomic Energy Bites
- Buzz Bites
- KickBricks Energy Chews
- Reload Energy Strips
- Movit Gummies
- Caffeinated jellybeans
While chocolate, tea and coffee naturally contain caffeine, other foods can be artificially caffeinated. Some examples include:
- NRG Caffeinated Potato Chips
- Morning Spark Oatmeal
- Sumseeds (caffeinated sunflower seeds)
- Lightning Rods (beef sticks)
- Engobi "Energy Go Bites" (crispy snacks)
Certain types of chewing gum contain caffeine. Most caffeinated gum products clearly advertise the ingredient.
- Jolt Gum
- Blitz Energy Gum
- Think Gum
- Stay Alert
- Black Black
- Go Fast!
The good news about caffeinated foods is that they mainly consist of items clearly created as stimulants, as well as the commonly known foods with high levels of caffeine. People can benefit from exploring other products that may contain the stimulant, including over-the-counter drugs and prescription medication. Some caffeinated drugs are created as stimulants. These items include many types of weight loss pills as well as energy supplements like NoDoz. It is important to consider the ingredients in these products if you want to control your intake of caffeine.
The FDA requires manufacturers to list the ingredients clearly on their labels, and it is advisable to read labels carefully before purchasing any over the counter medications. Caffeine can be found in certain cold medicines as well as many popular pain relievers.
People who are on prescription medication should discuss any concerns about caffeine with their physicians and pharmacists. Some medications can contain the stimulant and other options may be available.
Another consideration to make is herbal supplements. Unlike food and medications, the Food and Drug Administration do not regulate herbal supplements. It is very important to discuss any supplements you are taking with you doctor.