It’s sometimes hard to determine if you’re drinking too much coffee, especially since researchers go back and forth on the benefits and possible detriments of coffee and caffeine consumption. Today, many medical professionals suggest that 200-300 milligrams of caffeine a day (about two to three small cups of coffee) should be most people’s limit. There are many exceptions to this rule that should be taken into account when you’re trying to decide if you’re drinking too much.
First off, since the major reason drinking too much coffee can be a problem is because of the amount of caffeine you consume, you should weigh whether you are also drinking other caffeinated beverages. If you drink a couple of cups of coffee a day and then several caffeinated sodas, you’re probably consuming unsafe caffeine limits. Alternately, if you drink energy drinks regularly, any coffee intake may well exceed your caffeine limits for the day.
You should read labels on sodas and energy drinks to decide if even a single cup of coffee means you’re drinking too much. Then make a decision regarding whether to give up a certain amount of soda or energy drink consumption, or whether you should just eliminate coffee. If you have a small build, you may likely find that you should stick to lower coffee amounts, and limit yourself to no more than 200 milligrams a day, sometimes even less.
Other questions to ask yourself involve how coffee might affect you. If you have poor sleep patterns, you may definitely be drinking too much coffee. When you’re not getting an average of seven to eight hours of sleep a night, consider reducing how much coffee and other caffeinated beverages that you drink. Many people also recommend making certain you do not drink coffee at least eight hours before bedtime.
People with certain conditions should probably not drink coffee or should limit its intake. If you have anxiety disorder, heart arrhythmias, stomach problems like diarrhea, or if you are prone to irritability or suffer from conditions like restless leg syndrome or frequent urination, you should probably consider drinking no coffee at all. Further, if you get headaches on a relatively constant basis, caffeine can be the cause. You should try avoiding coffee for a few weeks to see if headaches decrease, though if you’ve used caffeine regularly for a long time, you may find headaches increase in the first few days.
You may also be drinking too much coffee if you take certain types of medications. If you take antibiotics like Cipro® or Noroxin®, caffeine in coffee may not break down and its effects may make you feel shaky. Some medications for asthma cause effects similar to caffeine, including shakiness, and might cause you to feel nervous or irritable if you combine use of these medications with coffee. You should never drink coffee if you use ephedra, which you shouldn’t use at all because of its potential life-threatening effects. Also be wary of pain medications that contain caffeine and limit your coffee intake when you use these.
A little bit of coffee can help make your more mentally alert and may be a great way to start a morning. If you are drinking too much coffee, it will begin to negatively affect you physically and mentally. Count the cups you drink, as well as any other caffeinated beverages you consume, and stay within safe and recommended limits. If you just love the taste of coffee, and you want to drink it all day long, switch out after the first two cups to decaffeinated coffee; you’ll still have that taste you love without potential negative effects.