Too much coffee can pose health risks, so it’s important to know how much coffee is healthy.
Many of us rely on caffeine to give us a boost of energy in the mornings. It helps us stay alert and increases our concentration levels, so it’s understandable that we can’t live without it.
For this reason, we’ve put together a helpful guide. We’ve included how much caffeine you should drink, what types of drinks will make you hit the limit, and alternatives for when you’ve hit that limit.
What This Article Covers:
- How Much Caffeine Per Day Is Healthy?
- What Are the Long-Term Effects of too Much Caffeine?
- The Health Benefits of Coffee
How Much Caffeine Per Day Is Healthy?
Healthy adults shouldn’t consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily.
If you’re drinking normal, brewed coffee, that’s equal to roughly four cups. You’ll need to be careful if you’re drinking specialized coffee drinks.
If you order something like a frappuccino or an iced latte, these can sometimes have double shots of espresso. This would make the caffeine content per drink around 200 mg.
You’ll also need to take into consideration how much caffeine is in other things you consume. Let’s go over what other foods and drinks contain caffeine.
What Other Food and Drinks Contain Caffeine?
Did you know that chocolate contains caffeine? The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it contains. This is because the cocoa bean naturally contains caffeine.
Here’s how much caffeine you’re consuming when you eat 3.5 ounces of various chocolate options:
- Dark chocolate (90-100% cocoa): 200 to 240mg of caffeine. That’s equivalent to two and a half cups of coffee.
- Bittersweet chocolate (55% cocoa): 125mg of caffeine. That’s just over one cup of coffee.
- Milk chocolate (30% cocoa): 45mg of caffeine. That’s about the same amount you’ll find in a cup of tea.
Various forms of tea also contain caffeine. Green tea has between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine per serving, and regular Ceylon tea has around 45 mg of caffeine in one cup.
Lastly, you’ll need to watch out for how much caffeine you’re consuming via sodas and energy drinks.
Energy drinks contain around 100 mg per serving. Sodas contain around 50 mg of caffeine per serving.
When figuring out how much coffee you can healthily consume in one day, you’ll need to factor in any caffeine you’re getting in via any of these and other options.
This is because the only health concern when it comes to coffee is how much caffeine one ingests per day.
What Happens if You Drink More than 4 Cups of Coffee per Day?
Ingesting too much caffeine carries some health risks in the long term. There are also negative effects in the short term.
If you drink too much caffeine on any given day, you might experience some of the following:
- Trouble sleeping
- Chest pain
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination
Too much caffeine can dehydrate you because it’s a diuretic. This means the substance increases the flow of urine. This is why you can experience symptoms like excessive thirst and urination as a result of too much caffeine.
Symptoms like anxiety and trouble sleeping are a result of the substance increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.
This makes you feel more alert when you consume a healthy amount of caffeine. It has detrimental effects when you consume too much though.
Replacing high-caffeine drinks such as energy drinks with healthy coffee drinks can help you avoid these symptoms.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of too Much Caffeine?
Too much caffeine can cause chronic conditions. These can be life-threatening, such as high blood pressure if left untreated. Below, we go through the main long-term effects of too much caffeine consumption.
If you’re experiencing these effects and still want to drink coffee, we recommend making the switch to decaf coffee.
Too much caffeine over a long period of time can cause chronic anxiety. This is due to the constant increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Symptoms of chronic anxiety include sweaty hands, an increased breathing rate, feeling panicked, and heart palpitations.
Breaking Your Sleep Cycle
A constant elevated caffeine intake can break your natural sleep cycle.
In general, it’s best to stop drinking coffee six hours before you go to sleep. This is because it takes caffeine six hours to work its way through your system.
Breaking this rule once or twice won’t do much damage in the long term. We know coffee can get you through some intense work periods, where it’s required that you stay up late to finish a task.
Allowing this to happen for extended periods of time can be dangerous. It disrupts your Circadian rhythm.
This is what your body’s natural sleep cycle is called. Disruptions to this can affect various areas of your body and life.
You’ll start experiencing disturbed sleep. This means that even when you’re sleeping, you won’t be resting properly. You might wake up a few times during the night.
This can lead to mood changes. An impact will be felt in your relationships with others, as you’ll likely have a short temper because of how tired you are.
Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Too much caffeine over a long period of time can increase your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
In general, caffeine raises your blood pressure for 30 minutes. This isn’t chronic blood pressure, which you need to take medication for.
When you ingest too much caffeine consistently, your blood pressure becomes chronically high. You’ll need to take medication to lower it.
Stomach problems are an unfortunate side effect of drinking too much coffee over a long period of time.
This isn’t because of the caffeine content. Coffee is acidic. If your gastrointestinal tract is sensitive, it can cause an upset stomach along with stomach cramps.
Over an extended period of time, drinking too much coffee can damage the lining of your stomach.
Coffee doesn’t cause stomach problems for most people, even though it increases your production of stomach acid. You’re only going to need to watch out for symptoms if your stomach is sensitive.
It’s wise to limit the amount of coffee you drink on an empty stomach, though. This is especially true if you drink black coffee.
If you’re wondering if black coffee is unhealthy, we have some answers for you.
Black coffee is more acidic than coffee with milk in it. Drinking it on an empty stomach can cause long-term stomach lining issues. It can also lead to indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, and nausea.
The Health Benefits of Coffee
Did you know that coffee supplies our bodies with minerals it needs to function? Knowing how to make coffee healthy increases these elements in your diet:
These help our bodies with things like muscle function, muscle growth, cell regeneration, and bone density.
The Healthy Balance
In a nutshell, coffee is perfectly healthy.
The most important thing is to make sure you don’t ingest too much caffeine per day. This can come from various sources; not only coffee.
If you think you’re ingesting too much caffeine but still want to drink coffee throughout the day, these flavored decaf coffee beans are a great option. They taste just as good, and only have a small amount of caffeine in them.
These recipes can be made using decaf beans. This means that if you’re concerned about your caffeine intake, you can still enjoy your favorite coffee drink. It’ll even taste just as good!
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