Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Coffee: Are You Drinking Too Much Caffeine?
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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There are always long lines in Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and other coffee shops – especially in the mornings. People line up to get a cup of coffee or tea to become energized and fully wake themselves up. After all, the caffeine in coffee can increase your energy and alleviate fatigue by stimulating your brain. So, whether it’s staying up late studying for a final, workinimagesg on last minute details on an important presentation for work, or even just the daily cup of coffee in the morning – caffeine plays a central role in a coffee lover’s life.

So, how much is too much caffeine? Most people drink about two to four cups of brewed coffee a day, which is about 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine. Heavy daily caffeine intake is about four to seven cups of brewed coffee – that’s 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine a day! For comparison purpose, a 16oz brewed coffee from Dunkin Donuts yields about 140 to 200 mg of caffeine while an 8 oz generic brewed coffee yields between 95 to 200 mg of caffeine. How many cups of coffee from Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks do you drink a day?

Here are some symptoms of excessive caffeine usage:

  • You feel nervous, restless, irritated and/or anxious easily
  • You have muscle tremors, fast/irregular heartbeat, headaches, and/or insomnia/sleep deprivation

Using caffeine to energize yourself because of sleep deprivation may become an undesirable cycle. You drink cCoffee Loveroffee to stay awake at night to finish work. What resulted was that you couldn’t fall asleep because the caffeine is still in your system. When you wake up the next morning, you don’t feel rested and so you buy coffee before going to school or work because you need that “energy boost”. Then the cycle repeats. Oy vey! Read on to get tips on changing caffeine habits:

Start by keeping count of how many cups of coffee you drink per day. Pay more attention to the amount you consumed as you wait in line to buy coffee. Reduce the caffeine gradually as this can help reduce the withdrawal symptoms. You can try decaffeinated coffee or even decaffeinated tea! In addition, add more hours of sleep to your schedule. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night to feel fully rested the next morning! If possible, try to avoid coffee at least eight hours before you go to bed. Otherwise, you’d just lie in bed wishing you can fall asleep! Do you know that even though caffeine is not stored in your body, it may take around 12 hours for it to leave your system?

What do you think about the effects caffeine have?

By Mitzi Dulan with research assistance from Rachel Yam

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