Your guide to being a healthy vegan  
or a healthy vegetarian! 
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Coffee BeansCaffeine

Caffeine is a mild stimulant found in many of our favorite beverages and some of our foods, such as coffees, teas, colas, and even chocolate. Because caffeine can negatively affect our absorption of nutrients, it's important to pay attention to the amount we consume. Caffeine can also negatively affect our health if it isn't consumed in moderation.

Quick Page Summary: Make sure you're consuming no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day (the equivalent of about three cups of coffee). Anything more than that can start to adversely affect your health.

Caffeine can cause nutrient depletion of important nutrients, like vitamin B6, and interfere with nutrient absorption of essential minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins.

Daily Recommendations

Moderate caffeine intake (300 mg or less per day) is probably not harmful to most healthy adults; however, regular large amounts (over 350 mg per day) may cause dependency, nutrient depletion, and interference with nutrient absorption. Large amounts of cola drinks (34 – 68 fl.oz per day) as well as daily morning coffee may also lead to excessive caffeine intake.

Caffeine Amounts
Food/Beverage Source
Caffeine (mg)*
Coffee, grande (16 oz.) Starbucks 550  
Coffee (8 oz.) 135**  
Tea, leaf or bag (8 oz.) 50**  
Caffe Latte, Coffee Mocha, or Cappuccino
short (8 oz.) or tall (12 oz.) Starbucks
Cola (12 oz.) 35**  
Chocolate, dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet (1 oz.) 20**  
Hot cocoa (6 oz) 13**  

* =  Average caffeine levels for popular beverages, foods,
      and drugs (rounded to the nearest 5 milligrams.)
** = Typical value

Source: Adapted from "Caffeine: The Inside Scoop" by Nutrition Action

Tip: The typical coffee mug holds about 12 – 14 ounces of coffee. A "large" coffee cup holds 20 ounces or more.

"Caffeinism" and the Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine typically affects most people in the following ways.

  • Increased alertness
  • Faster heart beat
  • More frequent urination
  • Raise in body temperature
  • Production of more digestive acid

Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Caffeine can take four to six (4 – 6) hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off.

"Caffeinism" is excess caffeine consumption. Caffeinism usually combines physical addiction with a wide range of effects:

  • Chronic insomnia
  • Persistent anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches when caffeine isn't taken

Additionally, caffeine may affect your long-term health. Excess caffeine can increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, and may increase the symptoms of fibrocystic breast lumps in some women.


Where can I buy healthy vegan alternatives?
Our sister site, Vegan and Vegetarian Products Guide, lists hundreds of tasty alternatives to dairy, eggs, meat, pet food, supplements, and more that can be found in many grocery stores.

This web site is intended for information purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. This site is provided by health-minded volunteers, not professionals. Always confirm the information you read with verified medical journals and articles before using the information. Always seek the advice of your physician, dietician, or other qualified health provider before changing your diet or taking supplements.

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The information above is for informational purposes only.
Always remember to talk to your physician if you have questions or plan on changing your diet.

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