Most people need a daily dose of caffeine, in the form of coffee, tea, or energy drink, to pull through the day. This is not surprising as caffeine is proven to improve alertness, relieve exhaustion, and boost concentration. However, many people are taking too much caffeine, which puts their health at risk.
Are you taking too much caffeine?
The safe dose of caffeine for a healthy adult is 400 mg per day. That translates into 4 cups of brewed coffee, 10 cola cans, or 2 energy drinks. However, the caffeine content of a beverage may vary. So, to know how much caffeine something has, you need to read the label carefully.
While caffeine seems like no big deal for adults, children should not consume caffeine. Teenagers and young adults should also limit their caffeine intake. Do not mix caffeine with other substances, for example, alcohol.
It’s possible that you are taking too much caffeine if you drink more than 4 cups of coffee every day. Other signs suggesting you need to cut back include migraines, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, urinary problems, nausea, racing heartbeats, muscle spasms, etc.
Who should not consume caffeine (apart from children)?
People with sleep deprivation
Filling yourself up with caffeine to fight sleep deprivation creates a vicious circle. Sleep loss urges you to drink coffee to survive your working hours. But the caffeine you consume during the day will keep you from falling as sleep at night.
People who are taking certain medications and herbal supplements
There are drugs and herbs that may interact with caffeine. Ephedrine and caffeine increase your risk of seizures and cardiovascular problems. Theophylline elevates the adverse effects of caffeine, causing nausea and heart palpitations. Echinacea raises the concentration of caffeine in your blood, increasing the unpleasant effects.
How to manage your caffeine addiction?
Cutting back on caffeine is a real challenge. If you abruptly stop consuming caffeine, you will certainly suffer withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, and decreased attention. These symptoms are often not severe and will disappear after a few days. Here are some tips to keep your caffeine consumption under control:
- Track how much caffeine you take a day, including both foods and beverages.
- Help your body get used to the low level of caffeine by cutting back gradually to ease withdrawal symptoms.
- Switch to decaffeinated coffee and other beverages.
- If you drink tea, try to change into other herbal teas that do not contain caffeine.
- Avoid painkillers with caffeine.
You may also interest in:
- Caffeine: Pros and Cons
- Alcohol And Caffeine Will Reduce Your Fertility
- 5 Alternatives to Coffee in the Morning
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 15, 2017 | Last Modified: May 15, 2017
Caffeine: How much is too much? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678?pg=1. Accessed May 11, 2017.