Caffeine: How much is too much?

Caffeine: How much is too much?

I couldn’t imagine life without my daily dose of caffeine. I often have 1-2 cups of tea in the a.m. and a latte as a pick-me-up later in the day. When I’m competing in a race or event, I always drink more coffee to get the additional boost it provides.

While everyone is different, experts suggest that 200-400 mg of caffeine (the amount in 2-4 cups of brewed coffee) a day is ok, and is linked to health benefits.For gourmet coffee, tea and accessories, check out Coffee Bean Direct and qualify for our discount on shipping.

Caffeine jolts your central nervous system and metabolism, helps alleviate fatigue, increases wakefulness and improves concentration and focus. It’s also associated with reducing risk for some chronic diseases and it’s well known as a performance-enhancer among athletes.

But if you’re daily intake gets too high—more than 500 or 600 mg per day—that’s when problems may arise. Even if you’re not downing several cups of coffee or tea a day, you’d be surprised at how much caffeine is in other beverages and foods and O-T-C products like weight loss pills and some pain relievers. Since the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require manufacturers to list caffeine content on labels, it’s often hard to tell whether a product contains the stimulant, and how much.

Use this infographic about the caffeine and sugar content of popular beverages.

caffeine in beverages


Signs that You’re Getting Too Much Caffeine

If you are experiencing these side effects, you may want to curb your caffeine intake.

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

Pregnancy and Caffeine

Pregnant women used to be advised to avoid all caffeine but the new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that up to 200 mg a day is fine for pregnant women.

Written by:
Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., CSSD
Co-Founder, Appetite for Health

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