Which drinks contain caffeine?

Cologne -

Coffee is said to make you livelier and more productive and can allegedly even prevent dementia and hair loss. The miracle drug to which these many properties are ascribed is the caffeine contained in coffee. But how does it actually work?

  • Which drink contains the most caffeine?
  • The myth of energy drinks and what about mate?
  • And this is how caffeine works in general

Professor Andreas Bauer, neuroscientist at Forschungszentrum Jülich, explains: “If people consume caffeine by drinking coffee or tea, for example, it blocks so-called adenosine receptors in the brain, which lead to fatigue when there is a lack of sleep or alcohol consumption. In this way, caffeine can delay tiredness a little. "

Coffee in moderation increases productivity

In appropriate amounts, caffeine leads to a temporary improvement in concentration and performance, confirms the new scientist.

If you want to keep your caffeine consumption at a healthy level, you should know which products contain a lot of caffeine - and which are significantly less stimulating than you would expect. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the US Department of Health, has compiled the caffeine content of various foods in a report. We have added products that are common in Germany.

The big coffee ranking: These are the seven most effective wake-ups in everyday life.

The front runner: espresso

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 110 mg

The little Italian is also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. No wonder: With a peak value of around 110 milligrams per hundred milliliters, the espresso makes you more alert than any other caffeinated product. Of course, you also drink less of it: a larger cup of coffee fits a little less than a quarter of a liter, an espresso cup only fits around 70 milliliters.

Since espresso is often made with heavily roasted arabica beans, it contains less chlorogenic acid and is therefore easier on the stomach than coffee, for which less heavily roasted beans are used.

The surprise: chocolate

The product that can almost hold a candle to espresso with up to 88 milligrams per 100 grams is not another coffee or an energy drink, but dark chocolate. So if you are fed up with a lot of espresso, you should simply fall back on a bar of dark chocolate. This is not better for the figure, but it also makes you awake. The slightly lighter milk chocolate still manages 15 milligrams per 100 grams.

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The classic: filter coffee

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 40 mg

The good old filter coffee takes third place with an average of 40 milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters. Of course, the caffeine content of this drink can vary greatly - everyone has at least one aunt who makes a coffee in beautiful Sunday china taste more like water than anything else. In contrast, there are also the so-called coffees that wake up dead aunts and are often brewed on Monday mornings by tired colleagues.

It is often recommended to always add at least one shot of milk to the cup. The chlorogenic acid contained in coffee should get a buffer and attack the stomach walls less strongly.

The best in the world: black tea

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 31 mg

For many, black tea has become a delicious alternative to coffee. The most popular drink in the world has a volume of around 27 liters per capita in Germany. Tea is considered the healthier choice compared to coffee, and this is controversial among nutritionists. The term "Teein" has also been abolished: the stimulant contained in tea is chemically identical to caffeine.

As with filter coffee, the caffeine concentration in tea can vary greatly. If you let your tea steep for only about a minute, you get a caffeine content of about 19 milligrams per 100 milliliters. With a brewing time of five minutes, it is already over 30 milligrams - this corresponds to the content of a lightly brewed cup of coffee.

The party phenomenon: energy drinks

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 32 mg

It's a common misconception: if you really need a kick, you should have an energy drink! In fact, Red Bull and the like have a less arousing effect than coffee and can be compared more to a strong black tea - although the tea can still be higher. The taurine contained in some energy drinks also has no stimulating effect - another myth.

According to neuroscientist Andreas Bauer, energy drinks owe their effect primarily to the circumstances in which they are frequently consumed: at parties, i.e. when you are already in a lively mood, and in connection with alcohol. If a test person were to drink two cans of an energy drink under laboratory conditions and in the absence of party atmosphere and disco balls, they would, according to Bauer, probably have exactly the same effect as two simple cups of coffee.

The alternative colas: Fritz and Afri

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 25 mg

The Hamburg-based Fritz-Kola and Afri Cola, originally from Cologne, have a caffeine value of 25 milligrams per 100 milliliters, three times higher than the common brands Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Fritz-Kola has only been on the market since 2003, Afri Cola is already an old hand: the brand is registered for the first time in 1931. Even then, the caffeine content was as high as it is today. In 1998, however, the owner changed and the caffeine content was reduced. However, this decision damaged the image of the drink, which is why Afri Cola has been producing the soft drink with the 250 milligrams of caffeine per liter of the original recipe since 2006.

The hipster drink: Club Mate

  • Caffeine / 100 ml: approx. 20 mg

Club Mate, which was still celebrated as a hackerbrause in the 1990s, has become a hip soft drink alternative over the years. In the meantime, Club Mate has outgrown this trend too, and the tea shower has arrived in the mainstream. The drink has been produced since the early twenties, although it was still known at that time under the name "Sekt-Bronte".

It tastes less sweet and has about two to two and a half times as much caffeine as Coca Cola. The raw material for the drink is obtained from the yerba tea bush, which is native to South America.

The soft drinks: Coca Cola and Pepsi

Many people would never drink cola before falling asleep, but have no problem with an evening coffee. The reluctance to use soft drinks is exaggerated. Coca Cola and Pepsi only contain around eight milligrams of caffeine per 100 milliliters.

This is how caffeine works in the first place

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Caffeine prevents the activity of our nerve cells from decreasing. This happens because it docks on the nerve cells where the body's own messenger substance adenosine should actually spread. Adenosine is responsible for keeping the energy balance of the nerve cells in balance. So it also protects the brain from overexertion and causes our brain activity to decrease. However, if the body is supplied with caffeine, it blocks the receptors to which the adenosine should actually dock. This prevents the brain activity from being throttled.