Caffeine: Usage trends

Last modified: Thursday, 25. December 2008 - 8:55 am

Caffeine is widely used due to its relative safety as compared to other stimulants. In fact, in 2001 the U.S. military endorsed the usefulness of caffeine, recommending it as a safe and effective stimulant for its soldiers.

Scope and severity

Ninety-five percent of all caffeine is consumed in the form of tea and coffee. Following water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world. About 1.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day throughout the world.

Since water that is not boiled is unsafe to drink in many areas of the world, travelers are advised to drink coffee and tea instead. However, the diuretic effect of caffeine can cause dehydration.

Age, ethnic, and gender trends

The average daily consumption of caffeine for adults in the United States is about 210 mg. Coffee accounts for 60% of the total caffeine consumed in the United States, while soft drinks and tea each represent 16% of the total. In the United Kingdom, by comparison, caffeine intake is twice the American rate, and tea accounts for 72% of the British total. In Scandinavian countries, coffee is the preferred beverage. For instance, in Sweden, coffee makes up 85% of the total per capita of caffeine consumption. Finland is renowned for the practice of brewing particularly potent coffee, boiled and decanted directly from ground beans.

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