How much caffeine is too much? It’s a question that you’ve probably asked yourself if you enjoy a good cup of coffee. It’s hard to say precisely how much caffeine is too much; every person will have their tolerance in terms of how much caffeine they can handle.
Although everyone has their tolerance, there are some things we can look into to see how caffeine affects the human system and how much is in the average cup of coffee. Let’s dive in and take a more in-depth look at what caffeine is and how it affects us.
What Is Caffeine? The Positives Of Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and is the worlds most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Therefore as a stimulant, it affects different people in different ways. Caffeine is found naturally in coffee. In the average 8 oz cup of coffee, there is around 95 milligrams of caffeine, while flavored coffee tends to have less caffeine. Tea and other beverages also contain less caffeine than coffee.
There are positives and negatives to consuming caffeine, and there have been many studies into the positive benefits of drinking coffee. One of the main advantages of caffeine is the effect it will have on your concentration. Used in moderation caffeine can be a great way to boost your concentration levels, primarily if you’re focussing on an important project or you’ve got a deadline to meet.
The consumption of coffee has been linked to the prevention of several major diseases. Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and is the leading cause of dementia in the world.
Of course, nothing can completely prevent diseases from occurring, but consuming caffeine has been linked to reducing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that drinking around 3-5 cups of coffee, particularly in middle age may reduce the risk of a person developing Alzheimers or Dementia by up to 65% in later life.
A moderate intake of caffeine in coffee has also been linked to weight loss and increased cognitive function. So caffeine enjoyed in moderation and as part of a healthy lifestyle can be a great addition to your daily routine.
How Long Does Caffeine Stay In Your System?
Caffeine enters your bloodstream quickly. It only takes around 45 minutes for caffeine to enter your bloodstream through the lining of your mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach. The half-life for caffeine is approximately 4-6 hours, meaning that caffeine stays in your system for this length of time. The effect that caffeine will have on the human body in this time frame depends on how sensitive an individual is to caffeine.
Caffeine is metabolized by the liver using the enzyme CYP1A2. Some people genetically produce very little of this enzyme while others produce a large amount; most people are in the middle of this spectrum. This is one reason to explain why some people are a lot more sensitive to caffeine than others.
Levels Of Caffeine Sensitivity
According to a 2011 study, around 10% of the population are classed as being hypersensitive to caffeine. These people can have large amounts of caffeine, even late in the day and be unaffected by it.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who are hypersensitive to caffeine. These individuals can’t tolerate even a small amount of caffeine without suffering from adverse side effects. The most common side effect of consuming too much caffeine is a feeling of having the jitters; this can make you feel uneasy and on edge.
Caffeine overdose also increases the heart rate, so if you have had ever had problems with your heart, it may be best to avoid caffeine altogether. Most people lie in the middle and have a normal sensitivity level to coffee and can take in up to 400 mg of caffeine a day without seeing any adverse effects.
Symptoms Of Caffeine Sensitivity
As mentioned above, one of the most common signs of Caffeine sensitivity is a feeling of having the jitters. Other common symptoms include a racing heartbeat, headaches, anxiety, and in some cases, insomnia.
It’s imperative to find out how sensitive you are to caffeine, or if you do find yourself experiencing some of the above symptoms, then it may be wise to cut down on the amount of caffeine you are consuming.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may notice a growing feeling of uneasiness when you drink coffee or a sense of detachment from your surroundings. Large quantities of caffeine have been known to contribute to an anxiety disorder called derealization. If you do find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, then it’s best to talk to a professional and get proper medical advice on any issues or concerns.
The great thing about coffee is that you can switch to decaf if you do find that your sensitive to caffeine but you still enjoy the flavor. You could also consider switching to tea or another beverage.
Some people are allergic to caffeine. Caffeine allergies are different from being sensitive to caffeine. When someone is allergic to caffeine, they can experience a flare-up of various skin conditions. If after consuming caffeine, you experience skin problems such as eczema, rashes, acne, or itching, then you may well be allergic to caffeine.
If you experience a shortage of breath, sneezing, or swelling of the throat and mouth after consuming caffeine, then these may also be signs that you are allergic to caffeine. Again it’s best to be on the safe side and consult a medical professional if you do experience any symptoms or want further clarification.
The Final Word
As explained in this article, caffeine affects different people in different ways. Perhaps you already know that you have a high tolerance to caffeine and that you don’t suffer from any ill effects of consuming it. Maybe you are at the other end of the spectrum and know that even if you have a small amount of caffeine, then it affects you negatively.
If you are unsure and to be safe, then it may be worth seeking the advice of a medical professional. This allows you to have a more precise understanding of how caffeine affects you individually. Enjoying coffee is one of life’s great pleasures, so knowing how caffeine affects, you will allow you to continue to enjoy cups of liquid gold!
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can find only in Indonesia. Welcome to my coffee world!