Caffeine can be great for a quick pick-me-up, but most of us worry at some point that we might be getting too much. If you’re like millions of others who depend on caffeine to jolt you awake and keep you that way, you’re not alone. Caffeine, or coffee is used daily to alleviate fatigue, and help to improve concentration and focus. But how much coffee is too much coffee?
Caffeine is generally safe for adults, but allowing children to indulge isn’t a good idea. Teens (and children) should limit caffeine consumption at all costs. Adults should avoid mixing caffeine with other substances, like alcohol.
Among adults, heavy caffeine use can cause unwanted side effects. Caffeine also isn’t a good choice for people who are highly sensitive to it’s effects or who take certain medications.
How Much Coffee is TOO Much Coffee?
For the average person, it’s generally advised to keep caffeine consumption below 500 milligrams, which is equivalent to 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day, with a couple more cups of tea on the side. For a healthy adult, up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most. That’s about the amount of caffeine you’d get from four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of soda or two energy drinks.
If you’re experiencing side effects like:
- Fast heartbeat
- Migraine headache
- Frequent urination
- Muscle tremors
…you should probably cut back if you’re drinking more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (or the equivalent)
How Much Caffeine are you Really Getting?
If you’re anything like me, you probably have a cup of coffee first thing in the am, and at least one more at some point in the day. But regardless of how many you have, are you remembering that first or second cup when you say “yes” to your third, forth and fifth cups of coffee for the day? When you pile on a can or two of soda, are you factoring in those cups of coffee?
A large cup of coffee can have as much as 200-300 mg of caffeine. So if you had one in the morning and another in the afternoon, you would have already maxed out on your caffeine quota, never mind the soda on top of it.
Regarding How Much Coffee is Too Much Coffee, women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant, and those who are breastfeeding should have a chat with their doctors about their caffeine intake.
If Even a Little Coffee Makes You Jittery…
People who don’t regularly drink coffee or caffeine products tend to be more sensitive to it’s negative effects. Other factors can include genetics, body mass, your age, other medications, and health conditions such as panic and anxiety disorders.