Coffee and Caffeine — How Much Should You Drink?

Coffee contains hundreds of bioactive compounds. In fact, it’s the single largest source of antioxidants for many people.

Studies also show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and liver diseases.

However, you may wonder how much coffee is safe to drink, and whether excess intake has any risks.

This article explains how much coffee you can safely drink.

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?

Caffeine, an active ingredient in coffee, is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Coffee’s caffeine content is highly variable, ranging from 50 to over 400 mg per cup.

A small home-brewed cup of coffee could provide 50 mg, while a 16-ounce (475-ml) Starbucks grande packs over 300 mg.

As a general rule, you can assume that an average 8-ounce (240-ml) cup of coffee offers around 100 mg of caffeine.

Several sources suggest that 400 mg of caffeine per day — the equivalent of 4 cups (945 ml) of coffee — is safe for most healthy adults.

However, many people drink much more than that without any issues.

Keep in mind that many other sources of caffeine exist, including tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and certain medications .

SUMMARY: The caffeine content of your morning joe can range from 50 to over 400 mg. Many sources recommend 400 mg of caffeine per day as the safe upper limit for healthy adults.

short-term symptoms of excess intake

If you drink too much coffee over a short period, you may experience mental and physical symptoms, including:

  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • dizziness
  • upset stomach
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • fast heartbeat
  • tremors

If you experience such symptoms after drinking coffee, you may be sensitive to caffeine and should consider cutting your intake or avoiding caffeine altogether.

While it’s possible to die from a caffeine overdose, this is next to impossible from coffee alone. You would have to drink more than 100 cups (23.7 liters) in a single day.

However, there are a few rare cases of people dying after taking caffeine supplements.

SUMMARY: Ingesting too much caffeine can cause various symptoms, mostly related to your brain and digestive system.


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