Caffeine: the legal drug used by adolescents to adults all over the world every day. In fact, more than 90% of US adults consume caffeine each day. It’s become the daily go-to stimulant to increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue, and improve focus. Depending upon how much you consume, the effects of caffeine can be either good or bad.
The Effects of Caffeine: Both Positive and Negative
How much caffeine should you consume in a day? Like any stimulant, caffeine should be used in moderation. To dispel the misleading information around caffeine, we’re going to answer all your caffeine-related questions. We’ll explain how much you should consume each day and how you can use it for your benefit.
According to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) up to 400mg of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's the amount of caffeine you’ll get in four cups of coffee or 10 cans of Coca-Cola.
Children and pregnant women should consume much less than this. And toddlers and young children shouldn’t consume caffeine at all.
Take a look at the amount of caffeine found in some of the most common beverages:
- One 8-ounce cup of coffee: 95 to 200 mg
- One 12-ounce can of soda: 35 to 45 mg
- One 8-ounce cup of tea: 14 to 60 mg
A misconception of decaf coffee is that it’s caffeine-free. However, an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee contains about 7 mg of caffeine. Caffeine-free soft drinks, on the other hand, contain zero caffeine.
What are the negative effects of caffeine?
Caffeine has both positive and negative side-effects. Consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day can lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.
As previously noted, caffeine can be harmful for pregnant women. A report by Medical News Today suggests that consuming 300 mg of caffeine a day during pregnancy may increase the risk of low birth weight babies.
The other potential negative side effects of caffeine:
What are the positive side effects of caffeine?
How long does caffeine affect the body?
Caffeine can be consumed through beverages, food, or medicine. However it’s consumed, the blood and body tissues absorb caffeine within around 45 minutes. It reaches the peak level in the blood within 1 hour and remains there for 4 to 6 hours.
But according to research done by the University of Michigan Health Service, you can begin to feel the effects of caffeine as quickly as 15 minutes after consumption lasting up to 6 hours.
How do you detox from caffeine?
If you’re tired of getting headaches every time you miss your daily dose of caffeine, it might be time for a detox. Or maybe you just want to break the “hold” of caffeine.
Thankfully, unlike most stimulants, the symptoms of withdrawal are short lived. When you suddenly stop drinking coffee you may experience symptoms such as headaches as soon as 12 hours after quitting. The severity of symptoms may increase after 20 to 48 hours before disappearing. But usually, your symptoms will completely subside within 72 hours.
If you want to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal, try to gradually reduce your caffeine intake over several days. If you’re a 4-cup per day drinker, try cutting back to 2 for a day or two. Then switch to green tea for a couple of days. Slowly removing the amount of caffeine you consume over a period of time will prevent headaches and any other symptoms associated with withdrawal.
ConclusionCaffeine is a great way to help you increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue, and improve focus. Like any stimulant, too much can lead to adverse effects. Consume no more than 400mg of caffeine a day and you’ll be able to see the positive side effects without the negative.