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Dec. 17th, 2007

A question for you science-types out there...

If I'm looking at the list of ingredients on a drink, what would be there that would tell me if it's caffeinated? Is it actually called out as "caffeine", or is the caffeine in something else? I realized last night that I haven't the faintest idea if something is caffeinated unless it actually says "caffeine-free" on it, or if it's just water and juice or something similar. This whole caffeine-free lifestyle is going to be a bit difficult, just in terms of find things to drink besides water...



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Dec. 17th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
I think that if caffeine is added to the product, they have to list it in the ingredients, but if it's a natural component of one of the ingredients (things like kola nuts and cocoa have small amounts of caffeine in them), they don't have to list it. For example, if you buy one of those Starbucks Frappicinos, they probably don't have caffeine listed in the ingredients, because it's a component to the coffee beans they used.

However, there are a few other things to look for, because the caffeine molecule is sometimes identified by a different name depending on its plant of origin - caffeine is the common name for the molecule when derived from coffee. I believe that taurine and maybe guarana are also effectively the same thing as caffeine. Check out the wikipedia page on caffeine, and I think that's where I saw a bunch of information on other names for caffeine.
Dec. 17th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
Taurine is not caffeine -- it's an amino acid. Guarana is a natural source of caffeine. Green tea extract might be something to watch out for. I don't know if it usually contains caffeine. Maté contains caffeine, too.
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