Caffeine can be a great thing, but how much coffee is too much? Too much caffeine can lead to negative effects, so it is important to know your limits. These are some guidelines for how much coffee is a safe amount to have, what signs to look for if you are worried about having too much caffeine, and how to cut back on caffeine while maintaining energy and continuing to drink delicious coffee, such as Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee.
Caffeine in Common Beverages
To be able to understand what the limit for caffeine means, these are the caffeine contents of certain foods and beverages.
Small (6 to 8 ounces) of brewed regular coffee: 80 to 100 mg of caffeine
Large (20-ounce) order of regular coffee at a coffee shop: 400 to 600 mg of caffeine
Medium (12-ounce) order of mocha, flavored mocha, latte, or flavored latte beverage: 75 to 90 mg of caffeine
Small (8-ounce) cup of hot chocolate: 15 mg of caffeine
8 ounces of brewed green or black tea: 30 to 50 mg of caffeine
12-ounce can of cola, Mountain Dew, or other caffeinated soft drink: about 35 to 50 mg of caffeine
8 ounces of an energy drink: 70 mg of caffeine
Adding extra shots of caffeine or making your coffee or tea stronger will give it a higher caffeine content.
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?
The recommended limit for caffeine, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is a maximum 400 milligrams per day. That is as little as a single large coffee from a coffee shop, or about 4 small cups of coffee brewed at home.
It is important to keep in mind that the limit of 400 mg per day is the general amount for healthy adults, but individual factors may make the healthiest limit higher or lower.
Too Much of a Good Thing: Signs of Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine can have some great benefits, but too much can have negative effects. If you are a regular or occasional coffee drinker, you probably know that caffeine can give you a lift. It can improve your focus and memory, help keep you alert, and make you feel more energized. Longer term, regular coffee drinkers may have a lower risk for diabetes, cognitive decline, and heart disease.
Too much caffeine, though, can be too much of a good thing. These are some signs that you may be having too much caffeine.
Feeling anxious or jittery
Having trouble sleeping despite good sleep hygiene
Urinating more often than normal
Having an upset stomach
Feeling your heart racing
These symptoms can come at a daily caffeine intake of less than 400 mg for some people.
Who Might Be More Sensitive to Caffeine?
While the general limit for caffeine is 400 mg per day, some people may have a lower limit. These are some factors that can affect an individual’s safe caffeine limit.
Genetic sensitivity to caffeine.
Tolerance to caffeine, or being used to it.
Having a condition, such as IBD or IBS, that can have worse symptoms if you have caffeine.
Being on any medications that may interact with caffeine.
So far, there is not a universal recommendation for safe amounts of caffeine during pregnancy. If you want to drink caffeinated beverages while pregnant, ask your healthcare provider for a good limit for your own comfort level.
How to Reduce Caffeine Consumption
The first step to reducing caffeine consumption is to know where your caffeine is coming from. In addition to coffee, there may be sources such as soft drinks, black or green tea, sports or weight loss supplements, or hot chocolate, for example.
Often, there are decaffeinated versions of your regular sources of caffeine. Many soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks come in caffeine-free options. Herbal tea is a caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea, and green and black tea come in decaf versions as well.
With Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee, it is easy to limit caffeine intake while still enjoying your coffee. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee comes in Regular, Half Caff, and Decaf. That means that you can still get the same smooth, balanced blend of coffee beans in Whole Bean, Fresh Ground, or K-Cups, while choosing how much caffeine to have.
If you want to limit caffeine while still including some in your daily routine, it makes sense to have it in the morning. You might start your day with Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee fully caffeinated Rise and Shine or French Roast coffee, and even have more caffeine mid-morning if you need it to give you a lift. Later in the day, you might want to switch to Half Caff or Decaf.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, you may be worried that cutting back will make you feel tired. These are some tips for maintaining energy and alertness on less caffeine.
Get more sleep to reduce daytime drowsiness.
Limit sugary foods that can spike blood sugar levels and then leave you feeling exhausted when blood sugar later drops.
Eat more fiber and protein regularly to help stabilize blood sugar levels and energy.
Exercise regularly, and take a short walk if you can when you start to feel sleepy during the day.
You might also want to lower caffeine consumption gradually if you are prone to migraines. Caffeine affects blood vessels in the brain, which can affect migraine development and symptoms.
Too much caffeine can be a bad thing, but you don’t have to give up coffee. You can take a look at other sources of caffeine in your diet, and also consider switching to coffee with less caffeine for some of your cups in a day. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee is a brand with Half Caff and Decaf varieties in Fresh Ground, Whole Bean, and K-Cup varieties, so you can always have the great taste you love with the exact amount of caffeine that works best for you and your health.