Many of us love our cup of coffee in the morning. The caffeine in coffee gets you going and keeps you alert. But is there such a thing as too much caffeine? Research suggests that healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. That is equal to about four 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee or 10 cans of cola. Teens should limit their caffeine intake to less than 100 mg per day (one 8-ounce cup of coffee or about two cans of cola). Since Starbucks is so popular here is the complete guide to Starbuck caffeine.
For reference, below is a list of popular caffeine-containing beverages and their caffeine content:
Coffee: 96 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 mL)
Standard energy drink: 72 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces or 240 mL)
Green tea: 29 mg per 1 cup (8 ounces of 240 mL)
Soft drink: 34 mg per 1 can (12 ounces or 355 mL)
The recommendations for safe caffeine intake includes caffeine from all sources.
Dark chocolate contains 16 mg per ounce and can also be a significant source of caffeine when consumed in substantial amounts.
Now that you have an idea of how much is in each product, how do you know if you are consuming too much? If you suffer from the following side-effects, you might be consuming too much caffeine:
Frequent urination or inability to control urination
How to cut down on your caffeine habit
Whether it is for one of the reasons above or because you want to trim your spending on coffee drinks, cutting back on caffeine can be challenging. An abrupt decrease in caffeine may cause withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty focusing on tasks. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually mild and get better after a few days.
To change your caffeine habit, try these tips:
1. Keep tabs. Start paying attention to how much caffeine you are getting from foods and beverages, including energy drinks. Read labels carefully. But remember that your estimate may be a little low because some foods or drinks that contain caffeine do not list it.
Cut back gradually. For example, drink one fewer can of soda or drink a smaller cup of coffee each day. Or avoid drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day. This will help your body get used to the lower levels of caffeine and lessen potential withdrawal effects.
Go decaf. Most decaffeinated beverages look and taste much the same as their caffeinated counterparts.
Shorten the brew time or go herbal. When making tea, brew it for less time. This cuts down on its caffeine content. Or choose herbal teas that do not have caffeine.
Check the bottle. Some over-the-counter pain relievers contain caffeine. Look for caffeine-free pain relievers instead.
With some trial and error, you will find a balance that leaves you alert and energized, but without the unpleasant side effects. There are benefits to caffeine, but too much of a good thing is still too much.