is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is sometimes called guaranine
when found in guarana, mateine
when found in mate, and theine
when found in tea
. It is found in the leaves and beans of the coffee
plant, in tea
, yerba mate, and guarana berries, and in small quantities in cocoa
, the kola nut and the Yaupon Holly. Overall, caffeine is found in the beans, leaves, and fruit of over 60 plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects
feeding upon them.
Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity: caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily.
Many natural sources of caffeine also contain widely varying mixtures of other xanthine alkaloids, including the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine and other substances such as tannins.