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Worldwide, the coffee market is valued over $100 billion. The energy drinks market is about $60 billion, and still growing. China is the biggest riser. The Chinese energy drink market is making a spectacular rise with national sales doubling from â‚¬6 billion in 2015 to a whopping â‚¬12.4 billion by 2020. It indicates a global need to feel energized. But why? What makes these products so desirable? In this blog, we highlight the different caffeine products.
Dutch people appear to be one of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. The reason why we drink so much coffee is hard to find. It probably has to do with the availability of coffee in the Netherlands. For example, we have good facilities and free coffee at work is a given. In addition, the quality of our coffee at work has improved enormously in recent years. The climate also seems to influence the consumption of coffee in the Netherlands. We like to drink coffee to warm us up, this can also be seen in Scandinavian countries, where the consumption of coffee is also above average.
The National Coffee and Tea Survey conducted by Ruigrok Netpanel on behalf of Coffee & Tea Netherlands showed that on an average weekday, the Dutch drink 4.2 cups of coffee. On weekends, this is 3.9 cups per day. On average, this is 4.1 cups of coffee. But just how much caffeine do we get per day from drinking all that coffee? The caffeine in coffee varies quite a bit per cup of coffee. This is primarily due to the type of coffee bean.
The two best-known types of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. About 70 percent of the current coffee market consists of Arabica coffee and 30 percent of Robusta coffee. The Arabica plant grows at extremely high altitudes, averaging about 1,500 meters. A coffee plant produces caffeine to protect itself from parasites and diseases. Because Arabica plants grow at extremely high altitude, these plants are less exposed to animals and diseases. Therefore, Arabica beans contain less caffeine than Robusta beans. As there is less caffeine in the Arabica coffee bean, the flavor composition is diverse. Robusta plants also grow at lower altitude. Due to its firmer resistance, the Robusta also has a firmer taste. Robusta is often used for milk coffees. Robusta coffee contains twice as much caffeine. This gives you that little extra energy on your workday for when you need it.
In addition, the strength depends on the grind and water. Espressos have a finer grind through which the water is pressed, which results in a stronger coffee with a rich flavor. If ground coffee beans have limited contact with water, it results in less strong coffee with more flavor.
A cup of coffee as we know it has between 40 and 60 milligrams of caffeine. An espresso between 70 and 120 milligrams of caffeine.
Energy drinks are extremely popular. The energy drink market is growing rapidly, especially A-brands. Energy drinks are selling in high volumes at gas stations. And partly due to the success of Max Verstappen, Red Bull sees its sales increasing again this year. Reason for Coca-Cola to also respond to the needs of consumers looking for an extra boost.
With the exception of the sugar-free varieties, energy drinks contain very high levels of sugar: about 9 lumps per 250 ml. Most energy drinks contain 320 mg of caffeine per liter (80 mg of caffeine per can), in accordance with the maximum allowable amount of caffeine. The recommended maximum dose for caffeine depends on the person's age and health. For an adult, the maximum dose is between 200mg and 600mg per day. For a child, the permissible daily dose is 2.5mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, i.e., 45mg per day at age 5 to 6, 60mg per day around age 7 to 9, and 85mg per day for children between 10 and 12.
In addition to caffeine, energy drinks contain the amino acid taurine. Taurine plays a role in regulating heart rate and brain fluid levels, among other things. In our normal daily diet, this substance occurs in low doses. If you take an energy drink, the amount increases tenfold. Long-term intake of taurine can lead to (too) low blood sugar, digestive problems, dehydration, blood thinning, constipation, abnormal heart rate, strokes, and hypertension.
Caffeine powders, better known as 'pre-workout', are often used by young athletes. The average scoop (measuring scoop) easily contains about 250mg of caffeine, and some even use 2 scoops per training session. And that's not always without danger. The negative effects of (especially too much) pre-workout are probably still unknown to many. Pre-workout boosters can temporarily take away the tired feeling and give you a boost for your workout. They give you the illusion that you have more fuel than you actually have. Therefore, it is essential that you listen carefully to your body! If your body indicates that it is tired and that it is still recovering from yesterday's workout, you have had a few fewer nights of sleep or are going through a stressful period, listen to that feeling. Maybe it makes more sense to get a little more rest instead of taking an extra scoop or pill of that pre-workout booster before your workout.
If you've had this tired feeling for a long time, you may have started using more of that booster because you absolutely don't want to skip a workout, which can have negative consequences. It will become increasingly difficult to make progress in the gym. Your adrenal glands, which produce the hormone adrenaline (which provides energy), have to work harder and harder. If this goes on too long, they can become exhausted, resulting in them no longer functioning properly and producing less or little adrenaline.
As a result, your body starts producing more and more cortisol (stress hormone). More cortisol will suppress testosterone production, which ultimately interferes with building muscle mass and increasing strength. All of this may make you want to train even harder, causing overtraining to lurk.
So be aware not to exceed the guideline for an adult male (maximum 200mg - 600mg of caffeine per day). Double scoops may be nice, but more caffeine is not necessarily better for your workout. In fact, research shows that trained athletes who consume 3 - 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight perform just as well as when caffeine intake exceeds 9 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
So our advice. Look carefully at the other composition of the product and, above all, don't stare blindly at a caffeine content. A pre-workout with 80mg of caffeine can in practice be just as good as a variant with 250mg.
Caffeine pills are freely available. But are these pills healthy? And is it safe to swallow caffeine? A little caffeine, from a cup of coffee is okay, but be beware of large amounts. Caffeine pills are not harmless. This has to do with the large concentration of caffeine in one pill. A cup of coffee contains about 40mg of caffeine; 1 pill contains 200mg of this substance. That means that with 1 pill, you take about 5 cups of coffee at a time. The pills make the central nervous system run at full speed, resulting in increased concentration and improved physical performance. But if you take too many then you can get heart problems.
Often, more caffeine is used than the recommended dose. The package usually does not state the dangers of doing so. An overdose of pills can cause poor circulation which can cause physical problems. The Food Center recommends a maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day for an adult and healthy person. Pregnant women and children should avoid taking caffeine.
Manufacturers of caffeine pills use different advice. The advice on the jars ranges from 200mg of caffeine to 1,000mg of caffeine per day. There is also no warning on several packages about the physical dangers of exceeding the recommended amount. There is no legal standard that dictates how many caffeine pills people can take per day. Since there is no standard, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) does not supervise caffeine pills. However, the NVWA does conduct risk-oriented supervision. This means that the supervisor conducts investigations if they suspect that a producer is in violation. In the case of caffeine pills, the organization does not have that suspicion.
The NVWA advises against taking dietary supplements when eating a healthy diet. If you do, follow the dose advice on the package and don't take multiple supplements at once.
The most unknown caffeine product in the list is Energy Gum. This is because Energy Gum doesn't really exist in the Netherlands yet. On Amazon's website you can find all kinds of caffeine gum products, but often of low quality and low dose of caffeine. Also abroad, you can already find Energy Gum in some stores. It indicates that this category is growing and that consumers are very slowly starting to get used to the idea that you can get a very effective, clean, and fast energy boost through chewing gum.
In the Netherlands we really only know FIRST. An energy gum with 80 milligrams of caffeine and B vitamins that provides a long-lasting clean energy boost within 10 minutes. Read about it here all about it.