Friday, March 29, 2019

Differences between Synthetic and Natural Caffeine

Recently read a blog post on the benefits of drinking coffee over synthetic caffeine.  While enjoying caffeine drinks, I switched to strictly coffee (which I love) and have experienced the positive benefits.

The benefits included the absence of the caffeine crash that you get from soda and other synthetic caffeine.  It also makes it easier to switch on and off to coffee which lends to more choice and less addiction.

Blog post from healthynreal:

Recently a family member mentioned that caffeinated drinks affect him differently.  He told me that he noticed a difference when he consumed coffee which has natural caffeine as compared to soda which has synthetic caffeine.

I was surprised.  I never thought about the fact that there could be a difference.  I decided to investigate by doing some research and experimenting with drinking coffee instead of Diet Coke.  

  • Caffeine occurs naturally in many plants such as coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa nuts.  Villanova University
  • In addition to caffeine coffee has vitamins, antioxidants, and other compounds similar to caffeine.  These components balance the lift and fall of the caffeine in your system, preventing the instant jolt and imminent crash associated with synthetic caffeine.  
  • Natural caffeine doesn’t cause side effects such as nervousness, insomnia and flushed face as much as synthetic caffeine.  True Protein
  • Coffee contains:  pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (B3) and thiamine (B1), potassium and manganese   Health Line
  • Coffee’s antioxidant compounds include caffeic acid, chlorogenic acids, eugenol, gamma-tocopherol, isoeugenol, p-coumaric acid, scopoletin and tannic acid.  Fox News
  • Synthetic caffeine is produced in laboratories and manufactured in factories.  It is added to many products such as sodas and energy drinks.  
  • Synthetic caffeine does not include the the plant-based vitamins and nutrients found in naturally occurring caffeine, which may disturb a healthy balance.  
  • Many products using synthetic caffeine include several other, cheaper substances, such as sugar.  Ubiquinol  
  • Synthetic caffeine is significantly more powerful than natural caffeine. One teaspoon of synthetic caffeine powder contains as much caffeine as 28 cups of coffeePure Lyft

For my experiment I replaced Diet Coke with coffee for one week. 

I typically drink 6 ounces of Diet Coke in the morning.  Because I am sensitive to caffeine I made sure the amount of caffeine in the coffee was the same amount in 6 ounces of Diet Coke.  I did not add anything to my coffee.  

I drank 2 ounces of coffee instead of 6 ounces of Diet Coke for one week.  This is what I noticed:
  1. Similar to Diet Coke, when I drank coffee I was a in a good mood, felt energetic and running seemed easier as compared to when I do not have caffeine.
  2. Coffee did NOT make me feel jittery like when I drink Diet Coke.  My hands did not shake and I could focus on a task.
  3. When I drank coffee in the morning I did NOT have an energy slump and feel tired later in the day.  When drinking Diet Coke I usually felt tired in the afternoon.
  4. Based on drinking coffee when I was in college I thought coffee would bother my stomach.  Coffee did NOT bother my stomach.  (I made sure to drink 8 ounces of water before drinking coffee.)
  5. After drinking coffee I did NOT crave something sweet like I do after drinking Diet Coke.
Based on this experiment I am going to continue drinking coffee instead of Diet Coke for my daily caffeine fix. 

If you drink soda and you don't like feeling jittery and crashing in the afternoon you should try coffee. 

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