Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Your daily source of niacin: Latte, home

In the latest instalment of Wired magazine's long-running "What's Inside a ___?" series, for all those people filling up their car with diesel and drinking a can of Monster and wondering how many common ingredients there are, they explore what's inside a cup of coffee.

Caffeine. Water. Those two are obvious. But it gets more surprising from there on in. Putrescine is one of the few chemicals that really is as disgusting as its name implies. Coffee also contains niacin. Wow. Three espressi, and you're getting close to your RDI (that's Recommended Daily Intake, not Remote Debugging Interface, or Réseau de l'information). Fascinating. Niacin only really gets talked about at length in breakfast cereal advertising, and I always thought your daily bowl of Nutri-Grain was the only way it could get into your body, and therefore must have been invented by Kellogg's. But there you have it. Coffee. Amazing stuff.

One other surprise in that article is the ambiguous wording here led me to believe that coffee makes you immune to water:

"WATER: ...Caffeine is a diuretic, so coffee newbies pee out the water quickly; java junkies build up resistance."

A resistance to water? Spinal Tap were right. Water really is a drug.

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