Okay, some of us drink a bit more coffee than others. Whether you drink one cup a day or three pots, it’s important to know where the limit to safe, healthy consumption lies. After all, too much of anything can be harmful to your overall health. How much coffee is too much coffee?
Many of us like to start our day with the jolt that the caffeine in coffee gives us. The flavor and aroma of our coffee certainly doesn’t hurt either. Whether you drink coffee to wake up in the morning or to keep you awake so you can do your work or study, it’s important to know when you’ve had enough.
So what exactly is an acceptable amount of coffee? It’s not the coffee that’s so much the issue as the amount of caffeine that the coffee contains. If you’re drinking decaf, you don’t have to worry about the caffeine, but there are other issues you need to consider. An average of 200 to 300 mg a day is acceptable when it comes to caffeine, at least according to the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. That’s about 2 cups of coffee.
If you limit your intake of water or other liquids because of the amount of coffee you drink, it’s time to take a step back and assess, especially if you’re drinking regular coffee. That’s because regular coffee can affect and sometimes interfere with prescription medications, your sleep cycle, and exacerbate other conditions such as ulcers, high blood pressure, and gastritis.
Watch caffeine levels when you determine how many cups of coffee you can safely drink every day. For example, a cup of brewed coffee contains anywhere between 80 and 135 mg of caffeine, while drip coffee contains between 115 and 175 mg of caffeine. A shot of espresso contains 100 mg, while instant coffee contains between 65 and 100. Instant decaf coffee contains between 2 and 4 mg.
However, some people can down three or four pots of coffee in a day and have been doing so for decades. Many swear by the benefits of the antioxidants in coffee that may help protect your body against damage caused by free radicals. Still, too much coffee can have less than desirable effects on your health and lead to conditions like heart arrhythmia, insomnia, and for some (depending on other considerations including diet and lifestyle), damage to the liver and kidneys.
Talk to your doctor about an adequate and safe amount of coffee you can consume on a daily basis and go from there.