What fruit has the most caffeine?
Caffeine is well known as being the most popular drug in the world. If you have ever drunk a regular cup of coffee or eaten dark chocolate, you too have ingested this drug. In fact most people drink coffee for this exact reason; it is a stimulant and thereby helps you feel awake and alert.
It is a common misconception that fruit has caffeine. Take a look at the caffeine content of various fruits, in the table below:
|Passion fruit||0 mg|
As you can see, there is no caffeine found in any of the popular fruits listed in the table above. My additional research found that popular fruits which you are probably used to eating do not contain caffeine.
So what foods contain caffeine?
The most commonly known source of caffeine is coffee. The amount of caffeine in coffee depends on the type of bean and how much it is roasted. On average, 100 g of coffee contains around 40 g of caffeine.
Other natural sources of caffeine include tea and cocoa beans, the latter being used to make chocolate. Again, the amount varies depending on the type and amount of processing done to each of these.
Caffeine is also add to sodas, energy drinks, some weight loss pills and various foods, both as a flavouring and to help give you a kick and make you feel alert.
Are there any benefits of consuming caffeine?
Since caffeine is sometimes intentionally added to certain foods and drinks, there has to be some benefits to consuming it right? Surprisingly there are quite a few benefits to consuming caffeine.
- The first and most obvious one is that caffeine helps increase your energy levels and makes you feel less tired. This is because it has a similar structure to the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine makes you feel drowsy and tired; when you ingest caffeine it binds to the same receptors as adenosine would in your brain and has the opposite effect – it makes you feel alert.
- Caffeine can also help burn fat, which is why it is added to many weight loss supplements. Studies have shown that it is able to boost your metabolic rate. For example this study carried out on 12 young healthy male volunteers showed that caffeine consumption increased metabolic rate immediately and it remained elevated for 3 hours. This study showed similar results.
- Caffeine improves physical performance by increasing the levels of adrenaline in the blood. Caffeine consumption also leads to the release of fatty acids into the blood, where they can be used as fuel. This study showed that caffeine helped improve physical performance by around 12%.
- Caffeine could lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that usually affects people after the age of 50. According to studies such as this and this, caffeine is effective at reducing the risk of Parkinson’s disease by as much as 60%.
- Caffeine has been shown to have a positive effect on memory consolidation, according to this study. Participants who were not regular consumers of caffeine were given either a placebo or a 200 mg caffeine tablet, 5 minutes after they studied some images. The following day they were shown another set of images, some were the same as the day before, some were different and some similar but not quite the same. The results showed that those participants who had consumed the caffeine tablet were better able to identify the “similar” images rather than incorrectly stating them to be the same.
Of course, like with anything else in life, you don’t want to over do it…
How much caffeine is too much?
According to the Mayo Clinic, 400 mg of caffeine per day should be safe if you are a healthy adult (always check with your doctor, especially if you are taking prescribed medication). This is equivalent to around 4 cups of brewed coffee or 10 cans of cola (again, amounts may vary greatly).
Adolescents should limit themselves to a maximum of 100 mg per day and children should try stay away from caffeine entirely.
Some of the negative side effects of having too much caffeine include an increased heart rate, feeling restless, stomach upsets and not being able to sleep. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others and this depends on how long you have been consuming it for, how regularly, your age, gender and weight.
There are not many foods that naturally contain caffeine and fruits are certainly not one of them. Caffeine does appear to have some health benefits associated with it, but you should make sure to consume it in moderation.