Today is National Coffee Day! Coffee contains caffeine, which is the topic of this post. Caffeine is used in one form or another every day by millions of people to increase their wakefulness, to improve their concentration and focus and to combat fatigue. Caffeine comes in many different forms – coffee, tea, chocolate, cola beverages, “energy shot” drinks and may even be found in some medications.
Recent Research on Caffeine’s Benefits
Recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn some powerful positive facts about caffeine that are listed in the chart below. It’s great that caffeine has some health benefits in addition to being so desirable to many people!
How Much Caffeine is Too Much Caffeine?
First, for most healthy adults up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day appears to be safe and may even be beneficial! That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in 4 cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or 2 “energy shot” drinks. Of course drinking 10 cans of regular cola daily is a questionable practice due to the amount of sugar one would be receiving from that much soda!
Secondly, caffeine intake in children is not recommended on a regular basis and adolescents should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 100 milligrams/day, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Thirdly, heavy daily caffeine use (more than 500-600 milligrams/day) may cause side effects such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. Interestingly some research has found that men may be more susceptible to the effects of caffeine than women.
Caffeine consumption considered carefully leads to the conclusion that moderation is the key regarding caffeine intake. Unless there are health reasons or religious reasons to abstain from any caffeine intake at all, it appears to be safe and possibly even beneficial for adults to enjoy the equivalent of 400 milligrams of caffeine daily.
You may wish to consult the following charts to determine how much caffeine you are taking in daily.
Tables Listing Caffeine in Various Products
|Type of Coffee||Size||Caffeine (milligrams)|
|Regular, brewed||8 oz. (237 ml)||95-200 mg.|
|Decaffeinated, brewed||8 oz. (237 ml)||2-12 mg.|
|Expresso||1 oz. (30 ml)||47-75 mg.|
|Expresso, decaf||1 oz. (30 ml)||0-15 mg.|
|Instant||8 oz. (237 ml)||27-173 mg.|
|Instant, decaf||8 oz. (237 ml)||2-12 mg.|
|Latte or Mocha||8 oz. (237 ml)||63-175 mg.|
|Type of Tea||Size||Caffeine (milligrams)|
|Black Tea||8 oz. (237 ml)||14-70 mg.|
|Black Tea, decaf||8 oz. (237 ml)||0-12 mg.|
|Green Tea||8 oz. (237 ml)||24-45 mg.|
|Instant, made with water||8 oz. (237 ml)||11-47 mg.|
|Ready-to-drink, bottled||8 oz. (237 ml)||6-40 mg.|
|Type of Energy Drink||Size||Caffeine (milligrams)|
|Amp, Regular or Sugar Free||8 oz. (237 ml)||71-74 mg.|
|5-Hour Energy Shot||2 oz. (60 ml)||200-207 mg.|
|Full Throttle, Regular or Sugar Free||8 oz. (237 ml)||70-100 mg.|
|Red Bull, Regular or Sugar Free||8.4 oz. (248 ml)||75-80 mg.|
|Rockstar, Regular or Sugar Free||8 oz. (237 ml)||79-80 mg.|
|Excedrin Extra Strength||1 tablet||65 mg.|
|NoDoz Max Strength||1 tablet||200 mg.|
|Chocolate Chips, semisweet||1 cup (168 grams)||104 mg.|
|Dark Chocolate-covered Coffee Beans||28 pieces||336 mg.|
In conclusion, It’s great to find out that caffeine may actually be beneficial to one’s health! Moderation is the key to consuming caffeine with 400 mg./day being the target maximum amount. Caffeine intake greater than 400 mg./day may cause side effects as outlined above.
Disclaimer: This post on caffeine and its positive effects on some medical problems is for information only. There are some medical conditions in which caffeine intake is not recommended. This post is no substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Consult your physician for advice regarding your caffeine intake.
Credits: Charts adapted from Journal of Food Science, 2010, and USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. For more information, check out Nutrition and Healthy Eating at http://www.mayoclinic.org. Stock photos from Pixabay.
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