Many people enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee as they’re out running errands or rely on their morning cup of joe to jump start their day.
Coffee does contain a known drug, however–caffeine, which is a stimulant. It’s important to monitor your caffeine intake throughout the day and be aware of how much coffee you’re consuming. But how do you know when the caffeine you’ve had is too much?
Caffeine helps you stay alert and boosts your concentration, but if you consume too much, this can lead to negative health consequences. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 400mg of caffeine is the limit per day for healthy adults. This is:
If you consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day, this is definitely too much. Children also should not consume caffeine whatsoever, and even young adults need to be careful about their consumption. If you mix caffeine with other drugs such as alcohol, this can especially be dangerous. To play it safe, aim for a couple of cups of coffee each day, and no more than that.
If you need to find out how much caffeine you’re about to consume, luckily, it is easy to locate the information. Packaged foods typically include caffeine content on their nutrition labels, and if you can’t find it on the label, online databases list the amount of caffeine that popular foods and drinks contain. If you aren’t able to find the exact amount, you can at least typically receive a ballpark estimate so you can moderate your caffeine consumption.
Keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in your food and beverages varies widely depending on a range of factors. Your cup of coffee’s amount of caffeine is impacted by the roast, type of coffee bean, how it was prepared, if it is drip coffee versus espresso, and more. As a rule of thumb, however, an 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 80mg of caffeine, and a 12-ounce can of soda has about 40mg of caffeine.
Coffee, and other beverages that contain caffeine, can be very healthy for you when they’re consumed moderately.
Coffee can boost metabolism, physical performance, and your mood. However, too many cups of coffee can lead to an overload of caffeine, which in turn leads to negative and even dangerous side effects.
If you consume too much caffeine, you’ll know it, because your body and brain will react. The nine most common effects you may feel include:
Keep in mind that moderate use of caffeine will likely not lead to these side effects; many of these effects occur only when caffeine is consumed excessively. However, everyone has different sensitivity levels, and even a small amount of caffeine may have an adverse effect, so pay attention to how you feel as you drink your coffee throughout the day.
Caffeine is a stimulant that’s consumed around the world in many different ways. As great as your morning cup of coffee is, it’s important to be aware that every time you consume caffeine, you are consuming a drug. Be mindful of how much you’re putting in your body.
The FDA recommends that healthy adults should not get more than 400mg of caffeine each day, and if you consume too much, you’ll likely know it due to the adverse physical effects that take place. If you find yourself crashing in the afternoon, getting jittery or anxious, or having digestive issues, lower your intake of caffeine to see if this makes a difference and speak to your doctor.