Caffeinated much?

If you are having frequent symptoms, consider lowering or holding back on your beloved cuppa joe

Caffeinated much?

I love coffee. I may even be addicted to it. Recently I began to lose my sleep and had few panic spells. My family physician told me to cut back on caffeine. Is there a right or wrong amount of coffee that an adult can have?

Are you someone who wakes up and needs your cuppa joe to get going? You are not alone. Did you know that nearly 1 billion individuals in the world drink coffee every day? This aromatic, flavorful beverage is a favourite of many and some even state that they are "hooked" to it. So how much is too much? And is there a right and wrong amount to drinking this beverage? Let us find out.

Safety limits

Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, a day is considered safe for most adults which is equivalent to about two or three cups of coffee. However, people's sensitivity to caffeine varies from individual to individual.

Good effects

Caffeine can help in:


Decreased fatigue

Improved memory functioning

Overall cognitive functioning

Speeding up the reaction time hence helping performance in sports and other skills

Prevent against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

Boosting weight loss by improving thermogenesis and suppressing appetite

If there are such good effects, then why bother to cut down?

Bad effects

Usually, excessive consumption can trigger the following:




Palpitations or rapid heartbeat


Anxiety, restlessness, shakiness


Muscular twitches

Poor metabolism of calcium

Lowering consumption

If you are having frequent symptoms from the above, then consider lowering or holding back on your beloved caffeine. Also, women who are to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised medically to limit their caffeine use.

How is caffeine addictive?

Caffeine causes a small rise in dopamine and hence is not strictly addictive. However, it is very easy to develop a dependence on coffee and caffeine. This means that we need more and more quantity to feel the alertness and good wellbeing effect.

When is the best time?

If you are someone who wakes up around 7:00 am, then the best time to consume coffee is mid to late morning when your cortisol levels have dipped down (around 10:00 am-noon). The ideal last cup can be between 2 pm to 5 pm because caffeine should be avoided at least seven hours before bed, as it can otherwise negatively affect your sleep.

Diagnosing caffeine addiction

The ideal term used for this diagnosis is Caffeine use disorder (as per DSM) and Caffeine dependence syndrome (as per ICD-10). This indicates a disruptive, problematic pattern of caffeine use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. Common features of the disorder include overuse, inability to quit, withdrawal symptoms, craving, tolerance, and continuing to use despite problems.

Busting myth

Only coffee has caffeine is a myth. A lot of popular beverages have caffeine. Here is a broad outline of how much caffeine does each beverage contain. Light-to-moderate caffeine intake has positive impressive health benefits in many people but high consumption can have severe side effects, so watch your intake closely.

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