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Caffeine: How Much Should You Have?

By on March 10, 2010

We hear a lot that too much of caffeine consumption can pose a threat to our health. Many of us rely on caffeine to wake up from bed and to keep us going through the day. This is the favorite stimulant of most Americans because it stimulates our nervous system and hence alleviates tiredness. It is said that caffeine is safe for healthy adults when consumed in moderation.

But how do we know, when to cut back, and how much caffeine is moderate. According to health and nutrition experts consumption of 200-300 milligram of caffeine in a day is safe. This is a moderate dose for most people. But this dose may vary depending on a person’s sensitivity toward it.  Those who are susceptible to the effects of caffeine may encounter negative effects like nervousness restlessness, anxiety, irritability, headache and sleeplessness by just drinking a cup of tea or coffee.

Seven to eight hours of sleep in necessary for an adult person each night. Caffeine can deprive you from this amount of needed sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your day time alertness and performance. This sleep deprivation can become a regular routine. To stay awake during day time, you drink caffeinated beverages. But this poor habit disturbs your sleep at night. And gradually this becomes a cycle and affects your health.

To break this cycle you will have to reduced your caffeine intake drastically and increase more hours of quality sleep. Do not consume caffeine at least eight hours before bed time because its stimulant effect remains for long hours.

Caffeine can also interfere with some herbal as well as modern medicine you are taking. Medicines and antibiotics like norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin can bring negative effect by increasing the length of time caffeine stays in your body. If you are taking any medicine ask your doctor, if caffeine can interfere with it. Children and pregnant woman should stay away from caffeinated drink completely.

Cutting back on caffeine is no doubt a challenging job. Initially, caffeine withdrawal can cause headache, irritability, fatigue and nervousness but within few days these symptoms will gradually disappear.

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