How Much Coffee is too Much? - The Truth About Caffeine and your Health

9 min read SEP 13, 2022

Are you a coffee lover who cannot go a day without consuming coffee? Does your daily diet include caffeinated beverages and several cups of coffee? Here, at Lifeboost, we can't imagine a world without our morning brew!

Coffee and energy drinks contain caffeine known to boost alertness––which we all need sometimes.

Did you know, generally after consuming coffee, it takes up to 30 minutes for it to affect your state of mind? However, it takes 6-10 hours to do away with caffeine in your body?

According to research conducted by the FDA, caffeine has numerous health benefits and can be part of a healthy diet. But too much caffeine intake poses a danger to your health. Factors like weight, genetics, and medications affect how an individual's body responds to caffeine intake.

On average, healthy adults consume one to three cups of coffee a day, which estimates 110-260 mgs of caffeine per day. According to FDA reports, consuming over 400 milligrams of caffeine causes health problems. Extreme consumption of approximately 1200 milligrams of caffeine has serious health consequences.

This article discusses how much coffee a day is healthy, how much coffee is too much, symptoms, side effects, and how to cut back on caffeine intake.

Don't worry––coffee can be healthy! We would never dream of saying no to this beloved beverage, but you should know what amount of coffee can power your day versus how much caffeine can be detrimental to your overall health.

So, why do we love coffee so much?

Coffee has been linked to a number of health benefits including improved heart health, increasing one's lifespan, reduced risk of Depression, improved liver function, and so much more. 

Drinking a cup of coffee each morning not only gives us the energy to conquer the day ahead, but it is fueling our body in a healthy way (sans syrups and all the extras).

As with everything in life, there is unfortunately such a thing as too much coffee. Health is a priority at Lifeboost, and we believe the more you know, the more you can enjoy your coffee knowing you are supporting your body and wellbeing.

How Much Coffee is Too Much Coffee?

For healthy adults, the FDA estimates the toxic effects of caffeine to be due to consuming over 1,200 mgs a day. Consuming four to five cups of coffee, approximately 400 mgs, is considered not that dangerous with few side effects.

People become highly sensitive to caffeine, the same as to some medications. The FDA has not set caffeine intake levels in children, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, caffeine intake by adolescents and children is discouraged.

Also, it's advisable to find wellness advice from a healthcare provider on how much caffeine to take daily. This is because other factors such as breastfeeding, pregnancy, and other medical conditions are sensitive to caffeine's effect.

Symptoms of Too Much Caffeine Intake

Though consuming 400 mgs of caffeine daily is allowed, everybody reacts differently, and the side effects vary depending on their tolerance. Caffeine is a stimulant with energy-boosting capabilities. But, it has unpleasant side effects if taken excessively.

If consumed excessively, you may experience the following physical symptoms;

  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination
  • Headache
  • Stomach Upset
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety

5 Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Coffee

Coffee is a healthy beverage. It contains caffeine content known to boost metabolism, mood, and mental and physical performance. Research shows that excessive drinking of coffee has dangerous side effects.

Here are five side effects of excessive caffeine intake: 


Though low to moderate caffeine intake increases alertness, excessive caffeine consumption leads to anxiety. Research shows that our genes play a major influence on how tolerant our body is to caffeine. That's why monitoring your body's response to coffee intake is advisable.

Caffeine works by blocking adenosine (a brain chemical that causes tiredness) effects. It also triggers adrenaline release. However, if you consume caffeine at higher doses, it may lead to anxiety and nervousness.

Too much caffeine consumption of 1000mg and more daily has been found to cause jitteriness, nervousness, anxiety, and more, while moderate intake may cause some side effects to caffeine-sensitive individuals.

A modest dose of caffeine increases stress levels and rapid breathing if consumed in one sitting. If you often feel nervous or anxious, you should limit caffeine consumption.


This is a common side effect of caffeine content. Even though it has great health benefits, it can become a habit. Though it triggers some brain chemicals, just like cocaine, caffeine doesn't cause the same classic addiction.

However, at high doses, caffeine may cause physical or psychological dependence. Going without consuming caffeine for several hours can result in physical withdrawal symptoms for those consuming it on a large basis.

The frequency of how much caffeine is consumed plays a major role in dependency. Research shows that daily caffeine users have chances of increased fatigue, headaches, and withdrawal symptoms, unlike non-daily users.

Generally, caffeine may not cause true addiction, but if you consume caffeinated coffee, energy drinks, and caffeinated beverages, you may become addicted.

High Blood Pressure

Generally, rapid consumption of caffeine is linked to increased heart disease or stroke. Reports show that it increases blood pressure because of its stimulatory effect on the nervous system.

Increased blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and heart attack as it may cause damage to arteries, thus restricting blood flow to the heart and brain. However, caffeine intake seems temporary but has serious health consequences for those not used to it.

Also, research shows healthy adults are more likely to experience increased blood pressure during exercise. It's, therefore, vital to consider your caffeine intake if you're already a blood pressure victim.


Many people prioritize taking coffee because of its caffeine ability to help people stay awake. Conversely, taking highly concentrated caffeine-containing beverages causes trouble sleeping.

Research shows that high caffeine intake increases the time one falls asleep. It can also decrease sleeping hours, especially for older adults. Reports indicate that low to moderate consumption of coffee doesn't affect sleep.

On the contrary, more coffee intake is a risk factor for your health. Though many people only think of tea and coffee as ones with more caffeine concentration, caffeine is also found in energy drinks, cocoa, soda, and some medications. Additionally, caffeine consumed at late hours of the day affects sleep as it takes time to wear off.


Caffeinated beverages, coffee, and tea boost energy levels. However, they can have side effects leading to rebound fatigue. As aforementioned, energy and caffeinated drinks increase alertness. But, users are always more tired than usual after they wake up.

Drinking lots of coffee a day increases the risk of rebound fatigue. This affects your sleeping ability. To maximize caffeine benefits, it's advisable to consume caffeine in low and moderate doses.

How to Cut Back on Excessive Caffeine Intake

Suppose you are addicted or consume over 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, or you're experiencing negative effects when you consume your cup of Joe. In that case, you should consider cutting back or reducing your intake. Here are some tips to use: 

Do not stop abruptly

If you stop consuming caffeinated drinks abruptly, it increases the chances of withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, drowsiness, and headaches.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential during this process. It will prevent you from quenching for caffeinated beverages. Also, staying hydrated will minimize headaches that can arise during withdrawal.

Consider lower caffeine alternatives

There are numerous caffeine alternatives that you can consider if you want to minimize intake. A swap like a decaf coffee and green tea will be a good boost, and you will consume less caffeine. Switching to decaf works best, especially if you're a coffee lover and can alternate between decaf and regular coffee.

Decrease your coffee consumption

You can reduce coffee consumption by doing away with one cup of coffee every day. If reducing by one cup is difficult, start with half a cup of coffee reduction. Follow the same routine to achieve your goal.

Be optimistic

It's not easy to do away with caffeine. But, if you focus on the positive side and do all you can to avoid the adverse effects, you can reduce your coffee intake. Think about how much you have spent on caffeinated drinks and how much you can save if you minimize purchasing them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many cups of coffee per day is too much?

Starting a day with a few cups of coffee is healthy, as caffeine has some health benefits. But consuming eight or more cups of coffee ( over 400 mgs) is too much. Taking caffeine in large quantities has side effects such as dehydration, difficulty sleeping, nausea, and more.

Is 8 cups of coffee a day too much?

Drinking a few cups of coffee is referred to as moderate intake. However, too much coffee intake of 10 cups increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Coffee contains caffeine, and too much caffeine intake harms one's health. Drinking eight or more cups of coffee daily is too much, and you are more likely to suffer its side effects.

What is considered drinking too much coffee?

You can drink too much coffee, but it has some side effects. Research shows that ingesting over 400 mgs of caffeine, approximately five or more cups of coffee causes restlessness and muscle tremors.

How much coffee in a day is healthy?

1- 5 cups of coffee per day is healthy. 

How many ounces of coffee per day should one consume?

Taking two to five 8-ounce(oz) cups of coffee daily is healthy. Anything beyond that is considered too much coffee for your body. 

Bottom Line

If you're in the habit of consuming low to moderate caffeine, there are lots of health benefits to enjoy. But, high doses have side effects that threaten your health and may interfere with your body weight and day-to-day activities.

Coffee is a staple in most houses––here, at Lifeboost, especially! We love starting our mornings with a delicious brew, and we know you do too. 

It is important to keep in mind our body's limits, and perhaps keeping in mind switching to decaf for that final cup might not be a bad idea!

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Grata Medium Roast.

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