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Five myths about caffeine


May. 23, 2014 Washington Post

Chances are, you have some caffeine in your system right now; you might even be reading this article with a cup of coffee, a can of soda or a mug of tea in hand. But how much do you know about the drug — and yes, it is a drug — you’re consuming? Before downing one more gulp of your favorite stimulant, let go of some persistent, caffeinated myths.

1. Americans now consume more caffeine than ever.

With a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner; grocery coolers full of soft drinks, energy drinks and teas; and convenience-store counters displaying 5-hour Energy shots, it seems that we are more caffeinated than ever.

Except we aren’t. U.S. coffee consumption peaked 65 years ago, then fell dramatically. From 1946 to 2005, it declined roughly by half, from 46 gallons per person each year to 24 gallons. And despite the abundance of new ways to consume caffeine, we still get most of our caffeine from coffee.

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