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8 Surprising Sources That Sneak Caffeine Into Your System

If you have cut down your coffee intake because it’s keeping you up all night, in about a week or two, your sleep troubles should be sorted. However, if all your efforts have been in vain, you probably shouldn’t be blaming the cup of coffee. The caffeine in coffee is what makes you go sleepless, and coffee is not the only source. Here are some unusual sources of caffeine that might be keeping you up every night without your knowledge:

1. Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast cereals sneak caffeine into the body

Breakfast cereals are on the top of the breakfast menu for most. It is easy to cook, available everywhere, and come in various flavors. However, along with your morning cup of coffee, these cereals could be giving you that extra energy boost because of the caffeine content. Most breakfast cereals, especially chocolate-flavored ones, contain up to 11 mg of caffeine.1 If you are in the habit of drinking too many cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages during your work hours, more than the recommended 400 mg of caffeine per day, then 11 mg is not a small number and can add to your jittery feeling.2

2. Protein Bars

protein bars sneak caffeine into the body

Protein bars are a favorite among athletes and individuals who want to lose weight. These bars are regular snack munchies and keep you feeling full and energized. But, protein bars (formulated bars) contain some amount of caffeine. So, if you consider protein bars a healthy midnight snack, they could be the reason for your delayed sleep, too.

3. Flavored Nuts And Seeds

Flavored nuts and seeds sneak caffeine into the body

Nuts and seeds are healthy foods that provide the body with nutrients like proteins, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. They may be a healthy snack but these should also be eaten with caution. Today, nuts and seeds are available in different flavors. These processed, flavored products contain caffeine. Different brands have different caffeine content, so look at the nutrition label. Also, it is simply better to stick to plain nuts and seeds for better health.

4. Fruit Sodas

Fruit sodas sneak caffeine into the body

Carbonated soft drinks are caffeinated beverages. So, fruit sodas should be a better choice, right? Wrong! Fruit sodas like orange and lemon drinks also contain a fair amount of caffeine in them. The caffeine content varies with different brands. So, even if you limit your coffee, drinking a few cans of fruit sodas can easily cross the recommended caffeine intake.

5. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt sneak caffeine into the body

Yogurt is the gut-friendly food that all nutritionists recommend because it fights the bad bacteria and increases the good bacteria essential for proper digestion. However, replacing frozen yogurt with plain yogurt will not fetch you the same benefits. In fact, frozen yogurt is another unusual culprit of caffeine. For instance, a cup (approximately 174 g) of chocolate-flavored frozen yogurt contains 5 mg of caffeine, which could easily add to your daily caffeine intake.3 Like frozen yogurt, different brands of ice creams contain some amount of caffeine in them. So, avoid eating these for desserts after dinner to sleep better.

6. Energy Water

Energy water sneak caffeine into the body

Who would expect bottled water to contain caffeine! But there it is.4 If flavored, bottled drinking water is keeping you energized and unusually alert, it is because of caffeine. In addition to caffeine, guarana seeds (seeds of a plant native to the Amazon) are added to energy drinks. These seeds are known to contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans.5 So, quench your thirst and keep yourself hydrated with regular mineral water.

7. Mouth Fresheners

mouth fresheners sneak caffeine into the body

Some people chew gum to curb junk cravings after meals while others chew gum to kill the urge to smoke. However, certain types of mouth fresheners like gums and mints may contain caffeine. Since these are small in size, you might pop 2 or 3 at a time and thus let caffeine sneak into your body.

8. Painkillers

Painkillers sneak caffeine into the body

The easiest way to get rid of a headache is to pop a pill. Women pop them all the time to ease period cramps. But, what you must know is that caffeine is a common ingredient in many of the painkillers sold in the United States.6 So, if you are aching at night, easing it with a painkiller may cause you to stay up late than get some rest.

To sleep like a baby every single day, read the nutrition label before purchasing any of these products. If your sleep issues are persistent, try to cut down on coffee as well as other caffeinated beverages. In addition, always consult the doctor before self-medicating.

References   [ + ]

1. Surprising Foods That Contain Caffeine. National Sleep Foundation.
2. Guidelines on caffeine intake. Coffee&health.
3. Basic Report: 42186, Frozen yogurts, chocolate. United States Department of Agriculture.
4. Persad, Leeana Aarthi Bagwath. “Energy drinks and the neurophysiological impact of caffeine.” Frontiers in neuroscience 5 (2011).
5. Moustakas, Dimitrios, Michael Mezzio, Branden R. Rodriguez, Mic Andre Constable, Margaret E. Mulligan, and Evelyn B. Voura. “Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model.” PloS one 10, no. 4 (2015): e0123310.
6. Caffeine Gives a Small Boost to Painkillers’ Effectiveness. Center for Advancing Health.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.