Caffeine: How much is too much?
I hope this email finds you feeling well and rested. But if you’re anything like me, likely you’re feeling as if you could spend the rest of the day sleeping! The remedy, of course, a hot cup of coffee! Time and time again, I hear friends and family proclaim they cannot start their day without their coffee. And for good reason! Coffee can help us to stay more alert, and with an entire work day ahead, we may be thinking we need a lot! But wait a second, isn’t too much of a good thing, a bad thing? And how much really is too much?
As mentioned above, caffeine can help us to feel more alert, especially on days when we’re feeling particularly sluggish. However, too much caffeine can cause feelings of anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, stomach upset, and insomnia. The typical 8oz cup of coffee can provide approximately 80-180mg of caffeine. It is recommended for individuals over 19 years of age to consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, or roughly 3 cups of coffee. But if you are one of the many people who rely on more than the recommended amount of caffeine to get them through the day, you may be wondering how on earth you can cut back on your caffeine intake! If you consume caffeine regularly, you may experience side effects such as headaches and drowsiness when you do decide to cut back. This is normal. Below are some helpful tips to slowly cut back on your caffeine intake while limiting side effects:
- Mix regular coffee with half decaffeinated coffee
- Brew tea for less time
- Choose a latte instead of brewed coffee
- Try caffeine-free versions of carbonated beverages
Another way to reduce your reliance on caffeine is to get more sleep at night. Easier said than done, I agree! Getting adequate exercise (150 minutes per week), limiting alcohol (and caffeine!) before bed, and being consistent with the time you go to sleep each night, can all help to improve the quality of your sleep. Whether you’re a Tim Horton’s fan or a Starbucks fan, enjoy your coffee! Just try to do so with three cups or less!
Here you will find a Factsheet listing the amount of caffeine in various foods.