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via https://pixabay.com/photos/coffee-cup-coffee-beans-coffee-cup-171653/

Wait…Too Much Caffeine is a Thing?

As with all things, there’s a fine line between consuming something too much. Caffeine, especially, is no stranger to this. If you’re currently in school or working full-time, I’m sure at some point or another, you’ve experienced some side effects from over-consuming caffeine.

How much is too much?

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount because everyone’s tolerance, sensitivity levels, age, and medical history varies. And these are key factors in determining a healthy caffeine intake.

However, for an adult (over the age of 18), the general recommendation is 300-400 mg of caffeine daily. This number is dependent on one’s weight, so it’s important to take that into consideration as well. Consuming this amount typically doesn’t put you at risk for developing side effects.

I found a picture that illustrates the equivalent to 300-400 mg of caffeine:

via: https://cdn.caffeineinformer.com/wp-content/uploads/adult-caffeine-safe-doses-3.jpg

As you can imagine, the lower the age, the smaller the amount of caffeine should be consumed. It’s also important to know that children under the age of 12 aren’t recommended to consume caffeine. A candy bar or soda here and there is okay, but daily consumption shouldn’t be part of their routine.

Side Effects of Over-Consumption

The typical side effects of too much caffeine include:

  • Migraines or headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness or feeling jittery
  • Needing to use the bathroom frequently
  • Upset stomach
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle twitches

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you don’t necessarily need to quit drinking it. But you should probably cut down the amount you’re consuming.  If caffeine is keeping you up at night, it’s recommended to not drink anymore past 6 pm if your insomnia is severe–if it’s mild, it’s recommended to not drink anymore three to four hours before your bedtime.

Caffeine obviously has its benefits, but the classic saying comes into play here: “everything in moderation”.

Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.caffeineinformer.com and www.mayoclinic.com

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