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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
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.
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
|Coffee, grande (16 oz.) Starbucks
|Coffee (8 oz.)
|Tea, leaf or bag (8 oz.)
|Caffe Latte, Coffee Mocha,
oz.) or tall (12 oz.) Starbucks
|Cola (12 oz.)
|Chocolate, dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet
|Hot cocoa (6 oz)
* = Average caffeine levels for popular beverages,
and drugs (rounded
to the nearest 5 milligrams.)
** = Typical value
Source: Adapted from "Caffeine:
The Inside Scoop" by Nutrition
Tip: The typical coffee mug holds about 12 – 14 ounces of
coffee. A "large" coffee cup holds 20 ounces
"Caffeinism" and the Effects of Caffeine
Caffeine typically affects most people in the following
- Increased alertness
- Faster heart beat
- More frequent urination
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
- 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.