Caffeine is not something that you might not have known before. Millions of people rely on caffeine to provide enough energy to keep going. Consumption of caffeine in the morning in coffee or tea is the most common practice worldwide.
However, the arguable question is how much caffeine to consume and how much caffeine works to give you enough energy boost.
If you are also someone who regularly takes caffeine and is concerned about the safe limits of caffeine intake, this article is for you. In this article, we will discuss what caffeine is, how it works, different sources of caffeine, and how much caffeine you can take in a day or at once.
Besides, we will also answer one of the most asked questions by people: how much coffee is a lot based on caffeine intake, and is it safe to take 600 mg of caffeine at once? So let’s get into it without further ado.
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant in different natural substances and products. You can get caffeine from more than 60 plants, from coffee to chocolate. Caffeine is a stimulant for your brain and nervous system to increase activity and performance.
Since caffeine is a chemical substance, we can define it in the same language:
An alkaloid compound that naturally occurs in different plants that work as a stimulus for the central nervous system. Coffee plants and tea plants are the most popular sources of caffeine.
If we talk about the taste and essence of caffeine, it is a bitter substance. The bitterness in coffee, cocoa, and tea is due to the presence of caffeine in it. Usually, naturally occurring caffeine is consumed around the world, but there is a synthetic one as well.
Sources Of Caffeine
Before we move on to anything, we must discuss caffeine’s natural and synthetic sources for caffeine lovers. So here is the list of all items you can expect to contain a good amount of caffeine as might be needed by your body:
- Tea –A single cup of black tea contains about 47 mg of caffeine, but the amount decreases to 28 mg if you are consuming green tea. A decaffeinated tea will contain around 2 mg of caffeine per cup.
- Soda –The amount of caffeine in a 12-ounce tin of regular or diet cola is about 40 mg, and the same can of Mountain Dew has 55 mg of caffeine.
- Coffee –If we talk about coffee, an 8-ounce cup of black-brewed coffee has 95 mg of caffeine, instant coffee has 60 mg of caffeine, and decaffeinated coffee has about 4 mg of caffeine.
- Cocoa –You will get around 24 mg of caffeine from 1 ounce of dark chocolate. However, if you have milk chocolate, it will contain 12 mg of caffeine in a 1-ounce serving.
- Espresso –1.5 ounces of espresso has about 65 mg of caffeine in it.
- Guarana –South American seed used in energy drinks and supplements contains an equal amount of caffeine as in coffee beans. Usually, the drinks containing guarana seed extract contain 125 mg of caffeine per serving.
- Supplements –If you are taking caffeine supplements in tablet or powdered form, each tablet will contain around 200 mg of caffeine.
- Energy drinks –1 cup of most energy drinks has about 85 mg of caffeine. However, if you are taking a standard drink, it will have double the amount, around 170 mg per serving.
How Does Caffeine Work On Your Body?
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant that works on our central nervous system and brain. But how does it actually work on your body?
Here is a simple explanation of how caffeine goes into your body and provides a sudden boost of energy to stay active and improve your overall performance in daily life.
When you consume caffeine, your body will absorb it within 45 minutes. The caffeine peak in your blood is between 15 minutes to 2 hours. One serving of caffeine can work on your metabolism for about 2 hours.
So how does caffeine is absorbed by your body?
The caffeine you take in beverages is quickly absorbed and dissolved in your body’s water and fat molecules. It also crosses into your brain. How caffeine absorbs in your gut depends on different factors, and food is one of them. The type of food you have consumed can slow the absorption process.
If you drink coffee on an empty stomach, it quickly absorbs in your gut and gives you a quick energy boost compared to when drinking coffee after or with breakfast.
The breakdown of caffeine takes place in the liver. The time for coffee to remain in your blood is around 2 to 9 hours. However, if you are a smoker, the breakdown of caffeine is faster, but pregnancy slows down caffeine breakdown in the body.
What Amount Of Caffeine Is Safe For Adults?
If we talk about the safe consumption limits of caffeine in adults, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a recommended limit for that purpose.
According to the stats, the average caffeine consumption per person is 135 mg/day in the U.S. However, anywhere under 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe consumption for adults. It equals 4 cups of brewed coffee.
Pregnant women have an exception and should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine daily. Children under the age of 12 should not consume caffeinated beverages or food.
Below 18 and above 12 children should not consume more than 100 mg of caffeine daily. These recommendations have been issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Is it Safe To Take 600 mg of Caffeine At Once?
As mentioned, 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered the safe limit. Therefore, it is clear that 600 mg of caffeine per day, whether taken at intervals or at once, is not safe at all. There are several short-term and long-term implications for this practice.
The instant effects of consuming 600 mg of caffeine at once or in a day can be shaking, short-term insomnia, agitation, irregular heartbeat, restlessness, irritability, and nervousness.
There might be long-term implications of consuming more than 600 mg of caffeine every day, ranging from chronic insomnia to continuous depression & anxiety. It can also trigger stomach problems, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of miscarriages in women.
Therefore, it is not at all safe to consume more than 600 mg of caffeine at once. You should always consume caffeine in moderation to get energy without compromising your health.
What Are Side Effects Of Caffeine Overdosage?
When taken in moderate amounts, caffeine is not dangerous nor poses health risks. However, overdosage for extended periods or consuming caffeine for a longer period can have some side effects on certain people.
Here is the list of symptoms and side effects that you might experience as a result of caffeine intake:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Depression and anxiety
- Headaches and migraines
- Dependency on caffeine
The side effects of caffeine overdosage can vary from person to person. For instance, some people might experience no side effects, even when consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine. Pregnant women consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine can experience low birth weight, miscarriages, and other complications.
How Much Coffee Is Enough Based On Caffeine Intake?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, consumption of caffeine up to 400 mg per day is safe for an adult. So if we consider 400 mg as the safe limit and divide it into brewed coffee, the answer will be three-five.
A cup of coffee can contain 95-200 mg of caffeine, meaning you can safely consume anywhere between three to five cups of coffee in a day.
We have discussed everything about caffeine, the natural sources of caffeine, how much caffeine is safe to be consumed, and what happens if a person is consuming more than 600 mg of caffeine at once.
We hope the article will help you manage your caffeine intake and watch any side effects you might be experiencing due to caffeine before knowing.