Note: Pregnant women, children and people with heart or liver disorders should refrain from consuming caffeinated drinks.
Production: As a pure substance, caffeine is a white, odorless, crystalline powder with a bitter taste. We use the Soxhlet extractor to extract caffeine from plants (this is a distillation-based continuous extraction process). Only a few plants qualify as starting material for the extraction process. Coffee, tea and guarana are probably the best known plants with a high caffeine content.
Effect: Caffeine is very stimulating even in low doses. The central nervous system is stimulated, the heart’s contraction force is increased, the heart rate is increased, the bronchi are dilated and the peristaltic motion is stimulated. Likewise, fatigue symptoms are reduced and the concentration increased.
Overdoses result in discomfort, increased activity, concentration problems, increased heart rate and extrasystoles (premature contractions of the chest). The tolerated dose over a short period of time is considered to be from 50 to 200 mg of caffeine. The individual effects on the body vary greatly, which is why it is difficult to provide accurate definitions of tolerability or to make recommendations. However, the amount of 200 mg caffeine per day should not be exceeded. There are risk groups, as mentioned above, which should refrain from the consumption of this substance. This includes pregnant women, children and people with heart or liver disorders. A maximum quantity of 320 mg per liter (32 mg / 100 ml) was defined for energy drinks in Germany.