How Much Coffee is Too Much

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You might be surprised to know that coffee has many health benefits. More often than not, the benefits outweigh the risks. But what you do need to know is when you have had enough. So, How much coffee is too much?

Well, caffeine affects everyone differently. This is why it’s always good to know your limits. On average, we consume over 3 billion cups of coffee each day. The average cup of coffee contains anywhere from 75-100 mg of caffeine.

The recommended daily amount of caffeine for a healthy individual is 400mg. (~4 cups)

So if the average cup contains 100 mg, this gives you 4 cups to drink safely per day. It’s been shown that people who consume over 6 cups per day can see some negative effects.

lady in coat holding coffee cup outside

(I am talking about a cup of regular black coffee with no cream, sugar or milk added.)

What Even Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant that is naturally found in coffee. It stimulates your heart, central nervous system, and muscles. It’s the world’s most consumed psychoactive substance. It is considered a drug, and it’s perfectly legal, but no one even thinks twice about consuming it.

Caffeine changes the way we feel and interact with the world around us.

What if You Consume Too Much?

If you are one of the people who is sensitive to caffeine, you could experience one or more of the following:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety

Studies have shown that consuming 6 or more cups per day can increase your risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease by 22 percent.

But coffee contains so many good things, like antioxidants that the average person only gets from coffee. So don’t stress too much if you are not one of the people who are sensitive to caffeine. You would have to consume 100 cups of coffee in one day to die from a caffeine overdose.

Caffeine is also addictive. You can get used to the levels of caffeine you consume and if you stop drinking it, you can experience withdrawals.

Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can include headache and fatigue.

pinterest pin with coffee beans in background, chalk letters and coffee cup clipart

Caffeine Affects Everyone Different

Your genetics could be playing a large role in the amount of sensitivity you have to caffeine.

After you consume that morning cup of coffee, caffeine is absorbed in your stomach and intestines. A1 and A2A adenosine receptors are responsible for causing the stimulating effects of caffeine in the brain.

Caffeine is slowly metabolized and the effects can last for hours. If you are a fast metabolizer, you can consume several cups throughout the day while the slow metabolizers can’t because it takes longer for their bodies to get rid of it.

There is a specific enzyme responsible for whether you are a slow or fast metabolizer.

Other Things That Can Affect Caffeine Metabolism:

  • Smoking- it stimulates caffeine clearance and doubles the rate of metabolism
  • Alcohol Intake- can prolong the half-life and bring down the rate of clearance
  • Diet- broccoli and other veggies can increase the rate at which it metabolizes
  • Liver Disease- can reduce the plasma clearance of caffeine

You can develop a tolerance for caffeine. It can develop in a day or can take up to four. So people that drink it regularly have a built in tolerance and it effects them differently.

cup of coffee

Not All Coffee Has the Same Caffeine Amounts in it

The caffeine molecule is found in nature in about 60 different plants. The different kinds of beans also have different amounts of naturally occurring caffeine in them.

Arabica beans are what the majority of the coffee consumed in the world is. The caffeine content is not as much as the Robusta beans which is almost double. So, if you want more caffeine in your joe, ask for Robusta.

Roasting Can Affect Caffeine

Roasting also affects the caffeine content. The longer you roast the beans, the lower the caffeine content because they lose water and expand during roasting.

Light to medium roasts usually have more caffeine than darker roasts, once again because the darker roasts are roasted longer. (The darker roasts will give you the most flavor without as much caffeine.)

Water Temperature Can Affect Caffeine

Cold-brew coffee tends to have less caffeine than hot coffee because when the hot water passes through the grinds, it will extract more caffeine than the cold-brewed.

glass with coffee and cold brew bottle labeled cold brew

Have you tried Death Wish Coffee? They have more than 700mg of caffeine in a standard cup. WOW! That’s a lot of caffeine! I haven’t tried it but I want to and would love for anyone who has to comment and tell me what they think!

But Coffee Is Good For You

Coffee has so many good health benefits. It can reduce the risk of several diseases.

  • Depression
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Certain Cancers
  • Alzheimers
  • Parkinsons (the caffeine)

I feel like, if you are one of the people that caffeine doesn’t negatively affect then go right ahead and have your coffee. Just keep it under 4-5 cups per day. The benefits do outweigh the consequences.

Please share your experiences in the comments below and check out my Pinterest for more coffee info.

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