Updated: Feb 5
Up to 400 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 or two "energy shot" drinks. Keep in mind that the actual caffeine content in beverages varies widely, especially among energy drinks. One important thing to remember is that caffeine is present in lots of products other than coffee, including tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
Research shows that less than 400mg of caffeine per day should not be detrimental to your heart health, affect your cholesterol levels or heart rhythm. Some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine and can develop anxiety and palpitations at much lower doses so listen to your body.
If you do end up consuming more than the recommended daily upper limit then be sure to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced meal full of fats, protein and fibre to counter the stimulatory effects of caffeine.
Remember caffeine has a half-life of approximately 5-6 hours so depending on how much you drink throughout the day you may still have some caffeine present in your system. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which stops you feeling sleepy, however, this can sleep to difficulty sleeping or a light, restless sleep.
The daily recommended upper limit for pregnant women is 200mg of caffeine, equivalent to two mugs of coffee. This advice was issued in 2008 by the Food Standards Agency, which warns that too much caffeine could result in miscarriage or a baby with lower birth weight. This is an upper limit and should be used with caution. Abstaining from caffeine altogether when trying to conceive or when pregnant is optimal for a healthy full-term pregnancy.
Those suffering from adrenal insufficiency or fatigue or any endocrine dysfunction should really try and stay away from caffeine. Fatigue is often a common complaint with these types of conditions, so caffeine is usually used to try to counter this. However, the over-stimulation associated with caffeine intake can actually hinder the recovery of these types of dysfunction and lead to worsening symptoms.
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Disclaimer: Information in our blogs are as accurate and comprehensive as possible. This is general advice and should not be used as a substitute for the individual advice readers might receive from consulting their own doctor. For other medical professionals reading, it is advised to use your own clinical judgement when interpreting the information and deciding how to best apply this to the treatment of their patients. Please see our terms and conditions page for further information on this.