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Labelling caffeine quantity might be a health issue

I’ve been reading “Why we sleep” by Matthew Walker and it’s been quite an eye-opener. A good night’s sleep is now appearing to be so crucial to our wellbeing.

A relatively minor space in the book discussed the effects of caffeine, and has made me think more about how much caffeine I’m having.

Which lead to the question: How can I compare the caffeine in two products? Could there be an entry in the nutrition panel: XXmg per 100g?

The way this prominent sleep scientist talks about caffeine, it makes me think that labelling caffeine is really important, especially with caffeinated products marketed to adolescents.

I notice Food Standards have a page on caffeine, which mentions that they’ve just banned “pure caffeine powder” for safety reasons. They also give guidelines on how much caffeine a person should safely have.

I wondered if Choice had previously done any work in this area?

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I think a lot of those ‘energy drinks’ do have the caffeine content listed.

From the Food Standards page linked:
"FSANZ has approved the prohibition of the retail sale of foods in which total caffeine is present in a concentration of 5% or more (if the food is a solid or semi-solid food) or 1% or more (if the food is a liquid food). This prohibition came into force on 12 December 2019. "

I wonder if that includes products such as No Doz, which must be much more than 5% caffeine to fit 100mg of it in such a small pill.

Personally, I don’t drink coffee, but do consume caffeine for its glycogen preservation properties, ie it helps burn more fat when exercising, when out on long bicycle rides, which sometimes last all day. For my body weight I’ve read papers suggesting that 600mg is the correct amount. Athletes all over the world consume considerable quantities of caffeine.

I’ve never found it to be addictive, despite frequently having more than their recommended 400mg in a day, and it doesn’t keep me awake, so there must be something else in coffee that has those effects!

I have spoken to other people who say it doesn’t keep them awake too, and I once did an experiment, taking 500mg late in the afternoon, and had no trouble at all falling asleep a few hours later.

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Thanks Gordon, I confess I’ve never looked hard at an energy drink label.

About the sleeping, you’re right—Matthew Walker does say that some people metabolise caffeine very fast, and others very slow.

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I’ve only ever tried 3 different brands of them, years ago, and they were all equally disgusting!

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