It is a common routine for many people to start their morning with a cup of coffee. Served either in a venti mocha chino bucket or in a demitasse mug, coffee constitutes an unavoidable morning ritual for a huge section of the populace. Well, as is well known the key health concern of coffee is the content of caffeine contained in it. This, perhaps, is the reason you drink so much of it. It is, therefore, very important to realise the effects of caffeine on our body as well as about how much can be taken safely.
Caffeine can be described as a crystalline alkaloid occurring naturally. It is obtained from the seeds, leaves and fruit of different plants like tea bush and coffee tree, also including rare guarana berries and yerba maté. This compound is produced by plants as a treat for pollinators as well as a natural insecticide to protect the plant from harmful bugs.
Caffeine plays the role of a mild psychoactive and neuro-stimulant in the human body. This way, it creates a sense of temporary alertness. Additionally, it also increases concentration temporarily. As a matter of fact, caffeine has proved to be the most widely frenzied psychoactive drug in the world! It is found not only in tea and coffee, but also in chocolates and various energy drinks.
Content of Caffeine in Coffee
It has been proven through studies that coffee contains about 60-180 mg of caffeine in an 8 ounce serving. This, also, however, depends upon the intensity to which the coffee is brewed.
Possible Side Effects of Excessive Caffeine Intake
The prospective side effects of excessive consumption of caffeine include:
- Rapid Heart Beat – Caffeine works by exciting the nervous system, thus putting more pressure on the heart to help it cope up with the stimulated state of body. This can further lead to faster heart rate, which can be really dangerous.
- Difficulty in Sleeping – Caffeine creates a condition of temporary alertness. Therefore, unsurprisingly, excessive caffeine consumption can interfere with your sleep.
- Frequent Urination – Being diuretic, caffeine helps the body wash out body fluids. This might cause increased urination, specifically for those who get a fixed dose of caffeine through fixed drinks like soda, coffee or tea.
How Much Coffee a Day is Safe?
As suggested by the reputable and well-known Mayo Clinic in the United States, caffeine intake is considered excessive or heavy when the consumption reaches 500-600 mg per day, i.e. nearly 6-8 cups of coffee in a day. Although this quantity can be considered as excessive, but the number might, however, vary according to your age, weight and other factors, such as your physical and emotional states.
There are certain side effects that are likely to occur in a larger ratio if you don’t consume caffeine at regular basis as contrasted to what you feel after consuming it. For a large number of people, 200-300 mg is generally fine to do with. However, there might also be other people who want to cut the caffeine intake and have just a small quantity on a daily basis.
Health conditions that tend to start due to intake of coffee include anxiety, stress, acid reflux, sleep problems, irregular heart rhythms, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, fibrocystic disease and chronic headaches. Adding more to the point, pregnant women should limit their coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day to reduce the consumption of caffeine, as it can adversely affect the growing baby and the mother.
Wrapping up, if you feel concerned about your daily coffee consumption, try to note down the amount of caffeine you consume in a day besides tracking the time duration for which the stimulant keeps you active and make alterations accordingly.