T Nation

9 Top Caffeine Fixes

http://food.yahoo.com/blog/beautyeats/5654/9-top-caffeine-fixes

Talk about happy trends. More and more yum-ola foods that used to be considered bad news are turning out to be good for you. First it was wine. Then olive oil. Chocolate. Guacamole. And now coffee. (Hey, can ice cream be far behind?!)

What restored coffee’s reputation? Caffeine. After years of being viewed with suspicion, caffeine has pulled a scientific switcheroo. Besides helping students pull all-nighters and weekend warriors jumpstart their jump shots, there’s now evidence that it defends against diabetes, Parkinson’s, asthma symptoms, post-workout soreness, and even hunger pangs. Cool.

It’s not totally benign, of course - is anything? So the RealAge experts advise limiting yourself to about 250 mg a day (the average cup of joe has about 100 mg) to avoid jitters and a possible boost in blood pressure. But few labels list caffeine content, so it’s hard to tell how much is in what. Stick this cart on the fridge. It covers the caffeine sources generating the most buzz, plus some timeless favorites. We checked the calories too, BTW, but most are pretty harmless.

DIET COKE Everybody’s default diet drink
THE CAFFEINE FIX 45 mg
THE CALORIES 0
THE OTHER STUFF A lot of flavorings and colorings,
not much else-call it caffeine lite

WATER JOE For the purist: plain H2O with a jolt
THE CAFFEINE FIX 60 mg 16.9-ounce bottle
THE CALORIES 0
THE OTHER STUFF Artesian water and caffeine?that’s it.
No additives, no carbonation

RED BULL The energy drink that started it all
THE CAFFEINE FIX 80 mg per 8-ounce can
THE CALORIES 110
THE OTHER STUFF Has taurine, a “detox,” amino acid;
B vitamins; loads of sugar?so beware
the crash after the rush

TAB ENERGY A revved-up version of old Tab cola
THE CAFFEINE FIX 95 mg per 10.5-ounce can
THE CALORIES 5
THE OTHER STUFF Sweet and pink, it’s spiked with ginseng
and guarana, a mild caffeine-like stimulant

ENVIGA Controversial new green tea drink
THE CAFFEINE FIX 100 mg per 12-ounce can
THE CALORIES 5
THE OTHER STUFF Laced with 200 mg of calcium and
green tea antioxidants but in trouble for
claiming that it makes the body burn up
extra calories

ROCKET
CHOCOLATES Candy with more zip than a cup of joe
THE CAFFEINE FIX 150 mg per piece
THE CALORIES 70
THE OTHER STUFF Comes in trendy flavors like mocha latte;
individually wrapped so you can stash in
a pocket?but can you eat just one?

FUSION ENERGY 7/Eleven’s new-ish “functional” brew
THE CAFFEINE FIX 250 mg per 12-ounce cup
THE CALORIES 0
THE OTHER STUFF Freshly-ground coffee brewed with an
alertness-boosting blend of ginseng,
guarana, and yerba mate

STARBUCKS Coffee, just coffee
THE CAFFEINE FIX 280 or so per 12-ounce cup
THE CALORIES 0
THE OTHER STUFF Starbucks coffee averages twice the
caffeine of a regular 8-ounce cup of java,
but the hit can vary wildly-in one study,
by 200 mg on different days

SPIKE SHOOTER Heavy-hitter energy drink
THE CAFFEINE FIX 300 mg per 8.4-ounce can
THE CALORIES 0
THE OTHER STUFF Spiked with tyrosine, yohimbine, and
a huge dose of vitamin B12; label warns
you not to drink more than 1 a day