How much coffee is too much coffee?

Most of you know the feeling. Getting up in the morning is the worst thing that can happen to you, and the only thing that can possibly get you going is a cup of coffee. You then get another cup sometime before lunch at work, because you get to catch up with colleagues in the kitchen. What would then be a lunch without an espresso or cappuccino to finish your dining experience? Going to the gym after work would be incomplete without a little pre-workout caffeine booster, they help with fat-burn, so why not? And as a reward you grab a Coca-Cola with your dinner.


Who has done any variation of this before? Don’t be shy to admit it.

Caffeine is great, don’t take this the wrong way, but everything has its limits. You can easily overdose on caffeine and experience many uncomfortable situations including insomnia, headaches, nervousness, dehydration, and stomach sickness. Research shows that anything up to 400mg of caffeine per day (approximately 4 cups) is considered a safe and healthy amount which actually provides many benefits for coffee drinkers. However, no research has solved the problem of individual reaction to caffeine, as each and every one of our bodies can react differently and therefore being taller doesn’t mean you should drink more coffee (sorry). We have to be careful with becoming dependent though, if you really are one of those who cannot get up without coffee in front of them, then you should consider a change of lifestyle and trying to get rid of your caffeine dependency by slowly reducing consumption. Long term speaking, dependency will do no good to your body, and it will only become worse the longer you keep with it.

If you keep within the recommended amounts of consumption you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of caffeine while staying healthy. These benefits can include higher energy, productivity, increased cognitive functioning, and memory retention. If you drink coffee regularly (within the recommended amounts) you are also less likely to experience a cardiac episode. So yes, go have that third cup of coffee if you really want to!   It’s all about timing and balance, if you are expecting to perform an intensive exercise or planning a long day at the office, drinking caffeine at the right time will help to give you a boost into completing the tasks.

 


We also have to address those pumpkin-gingerbread-toffee nut-or otherwise spiced coffee variations. Those are a sugar infused, super calorie pumped up drinks, which should only be enjoyed once in a while (cheat day anyone?). If you drink these as your regular coffee choices you are looking at more than just caffeine consumption, but also at extremely high sugar intake which could lead to many health problems, including diabetes. There’s no harm in enjoying a nice flavoured latte once in a while, it’s about being aware, staying informed, and balancing everything out. 

Everything can be influenced by how caffeine is consumed. If you are a fan of pre-workout caffeine boosters, you should never exceed the recommended intake as some contain up to 200mg of caffeine and if the portion is exceeded it can send your heart flying (not in a good way). If you like to make your own coffee, you should aim to not leave it to infuse the water for too long as that increases the chance of infusing of harmful and unhealthy particles. The ideal way of how to prepare your coffee is to use a French press, coffee filters, or a Moka kettle. 


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