Think caffeine and what’s the first beverage to come to mind? Sure, coffee. Any history of coffee is also going to be a history of caffeine and vice versa. And tea will probably show up somewhere in there as well. Next on the list has got to be the soft drink. And then probably those energy drinks. And that should be it, right. After all, why would there possibly be any need for any other beverage to contain caffeine?
Coffee is the caffeinated beverage of choice for most people in the morning. It’s also the favorite go-to drink at business offices. Apparently, nothing gets the mojo moving better than coffee. Nothing provides better proof of coffee’s standing in the western world than the rise of Starbucks. Pretty soon they will officially be on every street corner in America. Watch out world: you’re next!
Although the history of a caffeinated beverage being used primarily for its stimulating effect goes all the way back to tea consumption in China almost three-thousand years before the birth of Christ, most Americans don’t generally think about tea in conjunction with caffeine. That has changed in recent years with the tea industry’s onslaught of information geared to those concerned about the health hazards of caffeine who don’t want to switch to carbonated soda. Even at this late stage, there are many who are confused as to how the caffeine level in tea compares to that of coffee. To set the record straight, tea does contain caffeine and generally speaking it contains less than coffee. However, the actual caffeine content of both coffee and tea varies according to, among other things, the types used and how they are prepared.
Caffeinated soft drinks first began appearing in the late 1800s, but didn’t really explode as a consumer product until the last half of the 20th century. The sheer number of caffeinated soft drinks is astounding and most people have become so used to caffeine content in their favorite soda that they have no problem tasting the difference when provided with a non-caffeinated version. Obviously, the popularity of the soft drinks that contain higher levels of caffeine was the inspiration for the energy drinks that have become so prevalent.
Of course, there may have been another inspiration behind the creation of these beverages as well. Because they aren’t technically considered a carbonated soda, energy drinks aren’t subject to the same FDA limit on caffeine content as soft drinks. Energy drinks are not even required to label their caffeine content, which in most cases far exceeds the FDA limit for soft drinks.
Energy drinks may be the most popular new method for consuming caffeine in a liquid form, but they are far from the only new kids on the block. Perhaps the most unexpected new combination of fluid and caffeine is the idea of jazzing up beer. Although the very idea of mixing the stimulant caffeine with the depressant alcohol has been enough to give rise to any number of easy jokes, is it really any more bewildering than adding the energy jolt of caffeine to the already existing sugar rush of soft drinks?
Probably the strangest caffeinated beverages on the market are the caffeine-infused spring waters. Think about it. There is really no other reason on earth to buy water other than that you are health-conscious. Let’s face it, nobody drinks water for the taste, right? And since caffeine has the potential to adversely affect one’s health if consumed in large amounts, who is drinking this product? Must be somebody because several are still are the market.