Caffeine. You may have read our recent article regarding caffeine supplements but this article is here to inform you about natural sources of caffeine. As the most widely consumed psychoactive drug, we’re discovering just how it can be utilised for optimum health and athletic performance -many studies now discuss how the caffeine in coffee can actually be good for you. But coffee isn’t the only way to get naturally occurring caffeine. Read on for our Top 5 Natural Caffeine Foods!
We all know coffee has caffeine in it (it’s the only reason I drink it) but different types of coffee have varying caffeine levels. Lighter roasts have a higher content and finer ground beans will provide you with more caffeine in your cup of filter coffee. Robusta beans have almost twice as much caffeine as the more widely used Arabica beans. Filter coffee gives you more caffeine per cup compared to instant coffee. Even decaf coffee still contains some caffeine!
Not all teas contain caffeine – rooibos and fruit and herbal teas are usually caffeine free – but because most come from the same plant, there is caffeine present. Yerba mate contains the most, with some reporting up to 100mg per cup (about the same as coffee). Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong, pu-erh and yellow tea also contain caffeine at varying amounts. Do you want to know which tea has the most caffeine?
Yes, even chocolate contains caffeine, although it’s the cocoa itself which provides it. So, opt for dark chocolate which has an average of 43mg per 100g. The darker the chocolate the higher the caffeine count so take note of the cocoa percentages. For even more caffeine look for cacao nibs or beans which contain a whopping 230mg per 100g, minus the added sugar. Sprinkle on top of your cereal for an extra morning pick-me-up.
This plant native to the Amazonian rainforests is often seen in the ingredient list of almost all energy drinks and foods and there’s a reason for it. The seed of these googly-eye-looking berries contains up to 300% more caffeine than coffee beans. It is most widely distributed as a powder or tablet supplement and be found at most health stores, or indeed on Amazon!
5. Kola nut
Probably the most unknown food on this list is the kola nut. Usually chewed raw and grown in Sub-Saharan Africa this nut has been used for its pick me up properties for hundreds of years. It’s where “Coca-Cola” got its name from, although it’s understood to no longer actually be an ingredient in the drink.
Caffeine can help get you through those days when you’re feeling particularly drained, and can help you get the most out of your work outs. However you prefer to get your caffeine fix, just remember that the recommended intake is 400mg per day and approach with caution if you have any medical conditions. Use caffeine often? Tell us what it does for you below or @KeepFitKingdom !