Author: Valerie Jackson
We’ve all felt the need for extra caffeine, whether it’s an extra cup of coffee, an energy drink, or an over-the-counter stimulant. But is caffeine dangerous? And if so, how much should you consume to remain healthy?
Here are the facts about caffeine and what to know before reaching for another cup.
Caffeine is Dangerous
It is safe for most healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. This equates to roughly four cups of brewed coffee, ten cans of cola, or two “energy shot” drinks. Consuming more than this may lead to uncomfortable side effects such as headaches, insomnia, nervousness, and irritability.
If you’re jittering or experiencing other side effects from caffeine, consider reducing your intake.
Adults should not exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, and children should avoid caffeine entirely. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your caffeine consumption.
How Much Caffeine is Safe for Kids?
When it comes to caffeine and kids, it is important to be aware of the risks and recommended limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children younger than 12 should not consume caffeine at all. For adolescents ages 12 to 18, the AAP suggests capping daily caffeine intake at 100 mg (about one cup of coffee, one to two cups of tea, or two to three cans of soda).
Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause high blood pressure and heart rate in kids, as well as headaches, dehydration, nervousness, upset or nauseous stomach, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping, especially when consumed afternoon. Colin Kane, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Health and Director of Cardiology Outreach at UT Southwestern, advises that “when it comes to caffeine and kids, less is better.”
It is important to note that caffeine comes from many sources besides coffee. Popular beverages such as pop and energy drinks can contain significant amounts of caffeine. Therefore, it is recommended to limit your child’s caffeine consumption or eliminate it and opt for nutrient-rich options such as water and dairy products.
Can a pregnant woman drink coffee?
Caffeine is thought to reduce the fetus’s blood supply via constricting blood vessels in the placenta and uterus. According to a 2021 study, kids born to pregnant women who drank less than 200 mg of caffeine daily were smaller.
According to University of Pennsylvania experts, consuming low to moderate amounts of caffeine did not raise the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or hypertension in pregnant women. The study discovered a correlation between up to 100 milligrams of caffeine consumed daily and a 47% lower chance of developing diabetes.
Caffeine is a stimulant compound found in many foods and drinks. It’s often used as a stimulant and performance enhancer. Excessive caffeine consumption can have harmful effects on your health. A regular caffeine user could consume more than the daily recommended intake of 300 mg/day. This excessive intake may harm your health, including memory problems, anxiety, androgenic syndrome (a condition associated with increased testosterone levels in women), and irregular heart rhythms. If you worry about caffeine consumption, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.