How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

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Life begins after coffee. Almost everyone starts their day with a cup of coffee. It is such a delicious wake-up call that it’s not just meant for mornings.

Coffee brings you back from the dead of the night. It provides you with that morning jolt and is almost an alarm that it is time to start a brand-new day.

Coffee has become a go-to beverage of a lot of people. The population of coffee drinkers grows every day, and you can’t blame them. Aside from its rich flavor, it also has numerous health benefits.

Yes, coffee is highly recommended and safe for daily intake, but is there a limit to how much coffee you consume? There are folks whose coffee consumption is record-breaking. Have you ever heard of Voltaire?

Voltaire was a famous satirist and probably the most coffee addict of all time. He reportedly can consume 40 to 50 cups of coffee in a single day. Another interesting fact was then-US President Teddy Roosevelt drank one gallon of coffee every day.

So, do you think 40 cups and 1 gallon of coffee is too much?

What is the recommended coffee intake?

It is the caffeine in your coffee that you must be cautious about. Quoting Hypponen on one of his university releases, “Knowing the limits of what’s good for you and what’s not imperative. Overindulge, and your health will pay for it.”

For adults without any health conditions, the FDA approves 400 milligrams of daily caffeine intake; that’s about 4-5 cups of joe. This amount is relatively considered safe, with no negative effects.

Note that this can be variable depending on the drinker’s sensitivity to caffeine and on the speed of their metabolism.

recommended coffee

You must consider that although there is a recommended intake, everyone metabolizes coffee uniquely due to genetic, weight, age, and tolerance. Certain conditions may be further considered if the coffee fan is currently on medication, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, or is currently breastfeeding.

Should you fall in any of these special cases, it’s best to get your health care specialist or provider first your recommended acceptable caffeine consumption.

The standardized measurement as a recommended coffee intake can also vary based on the origin of the coffee bean, ground and roasted flavor, the flavor, the water temperature, and even the brewing time.

There is no set limit for children and adolescents because caffeine and other stimulants are not encouraged for them. This is as per the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What are the side effects of having too much coffee?

You would know if you had too much coffee for the day. Some might choose to ignore these indications and carry on with the rest of the day, adding another cup or two until the night comes. Drinking too much coffee can cause you to feel varying after-effects that are mostly related to your digestive system and brain.

Here are some tell-tale signs that you’ve had more than enough of this magic liquid:

You are feeling anxious

How Much Coffee Is Too Much

The caffeine in coffee heightens your attentiveness. This is achieved by hindering adenosine’s effects, a brain chemical that allows tiredness to settle. While doing this, it also releases adrenaline, your ”fight or flight’ response causing you to have a sudden surge of energy.

Caffeine hurries your central nervous system, making you feel agitated. At a higher dose, the effects of these two elements can lead to anxiety and apprehension. The jitters are more pronounced sometimes to the point of unconscious exaggeration. 

You are experiencing heart palpitations – the feeling of your heart beating too fast can be scary and sometimes can even lead to dizziness and fainting. Aside from your heart trying to escape from your ribcage, it can also head towards an altered heartbeat rhythm referred to as atrial fibrillation. This is common to younger adults who take too much coffee combined with alcohol and nicotine. 

Your digestive system becomes complicated

Don’t always blame bad food and PMS cramps for your upset stomach because some components in coffee can encourage your stomach cells to secrete stomach acid with gusto. Scientifically, coffee is also considered a natural laxative so expect that after a morning cup, you need to sit on the throne to get it all out.

So Much Coffee

This may not be entirely bad since you need to dump at least once a day anyway, so you must thank the gastrin being released by the coffee that speeds up your colon in its processes. Consume large amounts of coffee; then, you can expect a bout of diarrhea and frequent urges to pee.

You will be best buddies with insomnia

The caffeine in your coffee helps you to stay awake. This is really an advantage during the mornings but not when your body is tired already, but your mind is still raring to go. Too much coffee, especially in the early evenings, may lead you to not getting restorative sleep.

coffee's

You may eventually fall asleep, but that’s after counting a million or more of sheep and until the caffeine has worn off your body. Note that coffee’s half-life is 5 hours, so this will leave you with lesser time to actually get a good sleep enough for your mind and body to really rest. 

Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. Unless you have a cardiac side-effect, the odds are you will get better with no permanent damage and take another cup of coffee.

How to deal with a coffee hangover?

Recovering from a bad hangover is almost like a coffee overdose. You must allow the coffee and all its stimulants to wear off your body. 

You must give it between 4 to 6 hours before you start getting better. If you are sensitive to components like caffeine, then you must wait longer. 

You don’t need to be stuck in bed though in complete darkness while your coffee hangover fades away. There are some activities that you can do that can make you feel better.

  • Coffee No More – no more coffee for the rest of the day. If you’ve had too much coffee, then add into your overdose with another cup. Seriously, stop taking in any more coffee until you are all better.
  • Increase Water Intake – drink plenty of water because the caffeine content in coffee is diuretic. This means that you need to replenish all the water that you’re peeing. You’d feel your throat a little dry, and not increasing your water intake may lead to dehydration, which can escalate that unpleasant feeling you already have.
  • Get your Electrolytes Replaced – if your tummy is not too well and you have been back and forth to the throne due to diarrhea, then drink electrolyte replenishing solutions like Pedialyte. 
  • Spend your Energy – take a walk or do some light cleaning so you can expend some of your pent-up energy. Do be careful and extra cautious, though. If something out of the ordinary happens, like your rate increasing or shortness of breath, stop with whatever physical activity you are engaged in. 
  • Inhale and Exhale – if you feel anxious, breathing that comes in short and fast can make you more fretful. Try to take in deep, slow, and deliberate breaths and try to normalize your breathing. This can reduce all the apprehensions that you are feeling.

Moderate Coffee Intake is Better

much coffee

Obviously, a coffee overdose is not a pleasant feeling; that is why it is highly recommended to drink coffee in moderation. Getting your fill of 1 to 2 cups should be enough. Getting a stronger cup in the morning is understood, but getting addicted can be a real deal-breaker. 

In all fairness to coffee, moderate intake is good for you, and studies show that it can positively contribute to your health. Its health benefits include reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Additionally, coffee has up to 2,000 components, including micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E, and niacin. It is also a good source of antioxidants that protects your cells from getting damaged by free radicals.

Further research also indicates that coffee can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, gallstone formation, reduce asthma attacks, and improves cognition. You want to maximize all this coffee goodness but not to the point of drinking too much. 

After Thoughts

Coffee lovers should enjoy every cup of coffee. Every sip and aroma give you that feeling of happiness. Continue savoring the taste and aroma, but you must learn to set your limits. You know your body more than anyone else, and if you feel that too much coffee has some adverse effects on your body, then cut back on your consumption.

Have the fill of your coffee boost in moderation because coffee does not just give you that wakefulness that you need, but it also contributes positively to your health. Enjoying a good cup of joe should be spread throughout the day and enjoyed. It is not water where there is a daily quota of 8 glasses that you need to consume.

References

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20045678#:~:text=Up%20to%20400%20milligrams%20(mg,two%20%22energy%20shot%22%20drinks.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-coffee-should-you-drink
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/6-cups-of-coffee-a-day-is-safe-but-more-isnt-healthy
  4. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20190531/how-much-coffee-is-too-much#1

 

Cuppabean
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.
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