Trying to cut back on caffeine? Canceling your cup of coffee may not be enough if you pop nutritional pills. Researchers have found surprising-and undisclosed-amounts of the stimulant in many common dietary supplements.
The average American knows that there’s caffeine in coffee, cola and tea, but this crystalline compound can also be found in a variety of botanicals-from guarana to yerba mate-used as ingredients in nutritional supplements. But unless caffeine is added to a food or supplement in its purest form, there is no requirement to mention its inclusion.
So, just how much caffeine are you unwittingly consuming when you take that tablet? According to the Agricultural Research Service, half of the dietary supplements available in the U.S. could contain as much caffeine as two cups of coffee. Only a fraction of these supplements voluntarily put the word “caffeine” on the labels.
If you’re not comfortable with inconspicuous caffeine, ask a nutritionist or dietician about the individual ingredients in your favorite supplement. He or she can recommend less-stimulating alternatives.
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