File photo: Caffeine in coffee

On a daily basis, most people consume caffeine without necessarily being aware of it.

The morning tea we drink at home to the chocolate drink we take during lunch time may contain some amounts of caffeine.

The common knowledge people have about caffeine is that it makes one active and lively for a long period of time, but there is more information to add.

Speaking to some Ghanaians to find out what they know about caffeine and its effect, it was revealed people had little or no knowledge about caffeine and were surprised to hear that what we consume on daily basis contains what they did not know.

“We don’t know much about caffeine and are surprised that the soft drinks we take contain some amounts of caffeine, then we have to decrease our intake of soft drinks,” they said in the interview.

Others said they often consume caffeine to keep them active and lively through their activities.

“What we basically know about caffeine is that it is taken to keep one active for a period of time and increases mental ability,” they said.

 One of them stated that his security man takes coffee every evening to keep him awake the whole night to help him guard the house.

Caffeine is a bitter chemical substance found in numerous plants that is used as a stimulant to the nervous system.

It is a legal substance with no nutritional value yet used in most countries, but despite the harmful side effects it may cause, its use is not regulated.

It can be found in nuts, kola, tea leaves, coffee, naturally, and artificially in coffee drinks, energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate beverages and many others.

Consuming caffeine has benefits such as improving drowsiness, increasing cognitive functioning and mental attention, reducing Type 2 diabetes and decreasing depression.

A study by the European Food Safety Authority concluded that a moderate consumption of caffeine, of around 400mg per day can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet and an active lifestyle.

Individual response to caffeine may differ according to the generic variability.

First time consumers would experience some heart burns, being more energised, as well as difficulty in sleeping and for frequent consumers, you may experience headaches, fatigue, irritability, depression and anxiety among others.

Source: Adomonline | Celestina Ofosua Darko