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Caffeine: How much is too much?

By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Aug 24, 2015 – It’s Monday morning and you’re just getting into your routine at work/home. As usual, like many of us, you make yourself a cup of coffee.  Some of you, like me, have a coffee maker by my desk, so it’s easier to keep working.

Is this your first cup? Second cup? First of many more to come today?  You may want to put that cup down and let it cool off while you read this Mayo Clinic report on caffeine consumption:

By Mayo Clinic Staff, Aug 24, 2015 – If you rely on caffeine to wake you up and keep you going, you aren’t alone. Caffeine is used by millions of people every day to increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue, and improve concentration and focus.

How much is too much?

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks.

Although caffeine use may be safe for adults, it’s not a good idea for children. And adolescents should limit themselves to no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day.

Even among adults, heavy caffeine use can cause unpleasant side effects. And caffeine may not be a good choice for people who are highly sensitive to its effects or who take certain medications.

Read on to see if you may need to limit or even end your caffeine routine.

You drink 4 or more cups a day

Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause side effects such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

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