It is easy to forget that caffeine is a drug. This is because it is legal, available in public places, and is a massive part of many people’s lives. If you are someone who relies on caffeine to get you up and running during the start of your day, then you are not alone. Caffeine is consumed by millions on a daily basis. It helps to eliminate fatigue, improve concentration, and increase an individual’s energy levels.
Caffeine does have its perks, but it also comes with problems too. If you are unsure whether or not you are consuming too much caffeine, then today we will be answering your question by exploring how much caffeine is too much for you.
In the majority of healthy adults, around 400 milligrams of caffeine consumption each day is said to be safe. This is equivalent to four cups of coffee, ten cans of soda, or two energy drinks. The caffeine content in each beverage does vary, especially in energy drinks, but this is a rough estimation. Ideally, children should not consume caffeine. It is an addictive substance that alters the way your brain works, and even adolescents should limit the amount they consume. You should also avoid mixing caffeine with other types of substance, like alcohol. Unpleasant side effects can be seen in healthy adults. Some people can be more sensitive to these effects, and certain medications can also be affected by caffeine.
Common Side Effects
One of the main effects of caffeine is keeping you awake, which means that lack of sleep and insomnia is one of the most common side effects of caffeine consumption. Headaches and migraines can be experienced amongst regular caffeine drinkers, alongside nervousness, increased irritability, restlessness, frequent urination, stomach upset, increase heart rate and muscle tremors. Whether you drink more or less than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, if you are experiencing any of these side effects when you haven’t consumed caffeine for a few hours or more, then it is probably time you started cutting back.
Medication and Supplement Interactions
As mentioned, some medications and even herbal supplements can interact with caffeine. One example is ephedrine, which is a decongestant. When this medication is mixed with caffeine, you can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which can make you more vulnerable to seizures, strokes and heart attacks.
Theophylline is another drug that should not be mixed with caffeine. This medication is used to open up the bronchial airways and has similar effects to caffeine. When taken alongside it, the side effects will be doubled. Finally, echinacea, which is an herbal supplement used to prevent colds and other types of infection, has been linked to increasing the concentration of caffeine in the blood, which could increase the unpleasant effects associated with the stimulant.
Curbing Your Caffeine Consumption
If you are looking to curb your caffeine habit, here are some tips. To start, you should pay attention to the amount of caffeine you are drinking by keeping tabs and reading labels. You may be surprised by how much you are actually consuming. Food and medications should be checked alongside drinks. If you decide to cut back, then do it gradually. Try going decaf and consider off-brand Nespresso capsules to replace your regular coffee. When you make tea, decrease the amount of time it brews for, because this will reduce the caffeine content in your beverage. Or you could choose an herbal tea that doesn’t contain caffeine.
Reducing the amount of caffeine you consume isn’t easy, especially if it’s part of your daily routine and improves your mood and the way you function. However, your health is something you should never take for granted, and although health problems aren’t always seen in regular caffeine drinkers, you should always be responsible with the amount you consume.