How Much Coffee Is Healthy to Drink?
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. In fact, the global market for coffee in 2016 was estimated to be $26 billion!
Millions of people all around the world drink coffee for various reasons:
- Some drink it to perk up in the morning.
- Some drink it to counter afternoon fatigue.
- Some drink it to enhance their level of concentration and focus.
- Some just like the taste!
Caffeine is what gives coffee that kick, and it’s responsible for the majority of the effects the beverage has on the human brain. It’s a stimulant found in more than 50 different plants and is an ingredient in many drinks people consume on a regular basis.
Caffeine might seem as beneficial to the individual—and it does have health benefits–but that is not always true. Consuming too much caffeinated coffee can bring detrimental effects on one’s health.
So, how much coffee is too much?
How much coffee is safe for you?
Black coffee does not have any tangible nutritional value. In fact, for many it takes the place of nutrient-dense drinks like fruit juices and milk. If you are on a low sugar diet, coffee could be a great addition to your daily routine. Try it with some heavy cream and a natural sugar substitute.
For daily drinkers, a moderate amount of coffee is around three 8 oz. cups per day, which has around 250-300 milligrams of caffeine. A standard Keurig coffee maker K-cup pod has around 100-140 milligrams of caffeine, but the exact amount depends on which pod you’re drinking.
Drinking more than six 8 oz. cups is considered excessive consumption and could lead to caffeine dependence.
Children and women
Children are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine and should not be allowed to have more than one cup of coffee per day.
(And by children we mean those teenagers who want to drink coffee to look like adults.)
Avoid giving any coffee to children under the age of 10, because their bodies have not developed detoxification mechanisms as efficient as those of adults.
Breastfeeding or pregnant women should also avoid using caffeine as that could harm their babies.
Common signs of dependence and possible side effects
Like with most good things in life, coffee is better in moderation. Excessive use of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, can lead to some unwanted side effects that can vary from mild to severe.
Some of the most common side effects of excessive coffee consumption include the following.
Migraines are one of the most common symptoms associated with caffeine abuse. Although caffeine does not directly cause migraine headaches, prolonged use causes some level of dependence on the chemical as blood vessels will begin to constrict in its absence andexpand in its presence. This constriction reduces blood flow, which causes your headache.
Failure to drink the usual amount or more leads to a throbbing pain that goes away after consumption. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a week or more.
People who consume more than six cups of coffee daily have a difficult time falling asleep at night. Doctors recommend avoiding any caffeinated drinks at least two hours before going to bed. If you keep a strict bedtime routine, you should be able to fall asleep better even with moderate coffee consumption in the hours before going to sleep.
Caffeine dependence can lead to jitters in many individuals. It makes its users feel extremely nervous and uncomfortable even in situations that would typically be handled well. Doctors recommend that you avoid drinking any caffeinated drinks before going to an interview or before any occasion that may require calmness and composure.
How Coffee and Caffeine Affect You
After drinking a cup of coffee, the smooth, black elixir travels to your stomach and small intestine where it is absorbed through the intestinal lining. The effects of caffeine are then felt after about 15 minutes.
An adult’s body usually takes more than six hours to process or metabolize half of the amount of caffeineconsumed in a single cup, but regular or excessive coffee consumption can cause the body to develop some degree of tolerance.
This forces the drinker to consume a larger amount each day in order to avoid symptoms of withdrawal or even just to feel the positive effects they once felt with a single cup.
Know when it is time to cut back
If you notice it is taking three, four, or five cups of coffee to pick you up in the morning, it may be time to consider cutting back.
The good news is that caffeine dependence can be countered with just a few weeks of avoiding caffeinated beverages. In fact, many regular coffee drinkers practice cycling where they regularly mix in one week per month of zero caffeine consumption in order to avoid dependence.
Plus, your coffee habit can be much more affordable when you only need one or two cups instead of five!
Failure to mitigate the effects of caffeine dependence may lead you to experience worsening symptoms, such as the side effects listed above.
How much coffee is health for you to drink? The answer, as always: it depends!
If you’re a large man, your body can safely deal with several cups per day. Smaller women may not be as tolerant, and young children should avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages (here’s looking at you, soda).
How does your body respond to coffee and caffeine? Let us know!