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Week 8 - Caffeine and Alcohol.doc

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NUTR 1010
Andrea Buchholz

Week 8: Caffeine and Alcohol The most commonly consumed beverages worldwide are: 1. Water 2. Tea 3. Coffee The most commonly consumed beverages in Canada are: 1. Water 2. Coffee 3. Tea Daily coffee consumption varies across the country -Ontario: average amount -British Columbia: Average amount -Atlantic Canada: Least amount -Quebec: The most Caffeine -Most commonly consumed drug worldwide -Natural component of tea leaves, coffee beans, cocoa beans, and >60 other plants -Caffeine content highly variable, therefore caffeine content of resulting teas, coffees and chocolates also variable -Central nervous system stimulant (feel alert & energized) After we consume caffeine -Reaches peak blood concentration within 30-60 minutes of digestion -Half-life of 4-6 hours -I.e., half of the caffeine consumed is still in the body after 4-6 hours -Within this time frame (i.e., 30 minutes to 6 hours or so) Many of us feel the physical effects of caffeine -Vary from person to person -Nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations -Caffeine dependency is possible (withdrawal symptoms) -Tolerance with repeated use -E.g., caffeine increases blood pressure for ~ 3 hours in those not used to consuming it; but not in regular coffee drinkers Caffeine and Bone Health -Caffeine decreases absorption of calcium -Caffeine increases urinary calcium -Therefore, excess intake can lead to bone loss -Those who consume caffeine AND have low calcium intakes are at higher risk of poor bone health Caffeine during pregnancy -Caffeine crosses the placenta, so if mom drinks caffeine, so does the baby -Some evidence that caffeine increases risk of low birth weight and preterm birth -Recommendation for caffeine consumption during pregnancy same as for non-pregnant women Caffeine Recommendation -Women of childbearing age <300mg per day -All other adults <400 mg per day Coffee In addition to caffeine, coffee also contains: -Cafestol and kahweol (oily compounds in coffee beans extracted from ground coffee during breaking, but are mostly removed by paper filters) -Increase LDL-Cholesterol -Several kinds of antioxidants (undergo extensive metabolism—health benefits uncertain) Long-term health effects of coffee -Coffee consumption appears to decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, colorectal cancer, and liver disease BUT -Coffee consumption appears to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, poor bone health Factors, which complicate our understanding of coffee-health relationship -Coffee drinkers differ from non-coffee drinkers -More likely to smoke, drink alcohol, have less healthy lifestyles (diet, exercise) -Health effects depend on the volume of coffee consumed and the concentration of constituents (i.e., type of coffee bean, growing conditions, etc.) Tea All teas come from the plant Camellia sinensis -Black tea (tea leaves are picked, oxidized/fermented, and dried) -Green tea (tea leaves are picked, steamed, and dried [not oxidized]) -Oolong tea (tea leaves are picked, withered in the sun, and partially oxidized Tea Consumption Type % Of tea produced Popular in and consumed worldwide Black 76-78% Europe, North America, North Africa Green 20-22% Throughout Asia Oolong <2% China, Taiwan Tea is rich in: • Catechins o These are antioxidants o Highest concentrations in green tea, followed by black tea, and then oolong • L-Theanine o An amino acid derivative o Has a calming effect o Helps strengthen the immune system Positive health effects of tea -Increases antioxidant status -Decreases risk of heart disease (>3 cups per day) -Decreased atherosclerosis by protection health of blood vessels -Increase bone density -Help prevent dental cavities (tea is naturally fluoridated) -Green tea may help with weight control -Small increase (5%) in energy expenditure BUT, health effects of tea are inconsistent -The “dose” of tea required to see effects ranges from 1-6 cups/d Catechin content depends on: -Geographical location, growing conditions -How the leaves are processed prior to drying -Type of tea (blended, decaf, instant) -Preparation (amount used, steeping time, whether tea is stirred and how many times, and whether the tea bag is squeezed) Tea drinkers differ from non-tea drinkers -Tea drinkers may make different lifestyle choices than non-tea drinkers -E.g., tea drinkers are 55% more likely to make healthy choices when choosing a restaurant Herbal Tea -Not technically tea: it doesn’t come from camellia sinensis; contains no caffeine or catechins Alcohol What is alcohol? -Alcohol of alcoholic beverages is ethanol -2 carbon molecule with an OH group -A
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