Questions About Caffeine

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a naturally-occurring substance commonly found in some fruits, leaves, and seeds. If those fruits, leaves, or seeds are ingredients in a product, that product likely contains caffeine.

What does caffeine do?

Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it gooses the central nervous system. Caffeine can ease fatigue, boost wakefulness, and improve concentration and focus.

How much caffeine is too much?

Moderate intake of caffeine is mostly harmless. For most people, that translate to 200 – 300 mg (milligrams) or two to four cups of coffee. The effect caffeine has on you will depend on a number of factors: body mass, age, medication you may be using, and health conditions like anxiety. If you aren’t a regular caffeine drinker, that will factor in as well. For most people, 500 – 600 mg of caffeine is too much

What are the negative effects of too much caffeine intake?

Drinking too much caffeine can affect you in the following unpleasant ways:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Upset stomach
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

In extreme cases, over-caffeination can even result in death. Intake should be carefully monitored, especially in small children. As caffeine can affect your sleep, it is recommended that you do not drink it after 3 p.m.

What if I want to quit caffeine?

Consuming caffeine can have negative effects and you may be thinking it’s time to quit. If you’ve come to that conclusion, it’s recommended that you don’t try to quit cold turkey. Monitor your caffeine intake and gradually step it down until you eliminate it completely. If you drink caffeine to boost your energy, there are options available so that you don’t lose that boost. Exercise is a good choice which boosts both your energy level and productivity.

If you do quit cold turkey, be prepared to deal with symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. These can include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue, sleepiness, or energy loss
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Trouble concentrating or being productive
  • Nausea or vomiting