A Closer Look at a Common Additive: Caffeine

Caffeine occurs naturally in many foods, such as chocolate and coffee. Manufacturers have added caffeine to energy drinks and foods, such as protein bars, pudding, and breakfast cereals to help consumers maintain a high level of mental and physical acuity. But how does caffeine work? The food and reagent product supplier, Bell Chem, wants their customers to understand this chemical and the advantages it can bring as an additive.

Your body naturally produces a chemical called adenosine throughout the day which blocks the neurotransmitters that excite the brain. When caffeine enters your system, your body is tricked into thinking it is adenosine because it binds to the same neurotransmitters, but has the opposite reaction. This effect causes consumers to feel energized and alert, which is why a morning cup of coffee is a necessary component for busy schedules.

The liver breaks down caffeine in an effort release stored fat that increases muscle performance, as well as to rush nutrients and oxygen to the brain for more focus and quicker reactions, and to stimulate the heart rate and force of contraction for a larger blood supply to the muscles. This excess energy and brain acuity lasts four to six hours from a single 100 mg serving – approximately one cup of coffee.

Similar to other products, caffeine is beneficial in small amounts. The average adult can safely consume 400 mg of caffeine per day and teenagers can take in 200-300 mg with no side effects. Metabolic rates vary for every individual, and caffeine affects people differently. In other words, don’t start your day with a double espresso if you have not consumed any caffeine for a while!

Healthcare professionals have prescribed caffeinated products for dietary reasons, reduce patient fatigue as well as decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The preferred food and reagent product supplier, Bell Chem, has caffeine readily available. Contact Bell Chem today at 407-339-BELL (2355) to ask about adding caffeine your products. Check out our blog to learn more about food and reagent products.