Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Coffee?

Food

We all love a morning brew to kick-start the day.

While it certainly has its pros and cons, most acknowledge coffee is good for health.

In fact, in Western countries we get more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables combined (1).

But is there such a thing as too much coffee? Well, yes and no.

Exceeding your personal caffeine threshold is known to cause insomnia, anxiety, tremors and heart palpitations. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Consider Your Caffeine Tolerance

Caffeine is a stimulant.

Consuming large amounts in a day can lead to undesirable side-effects, generally related to brain function and digestion.

However, the severity of these effects greatly depends on your personal caffeine tolerance. Frequent coffee drinkers have a much higher threshold than their non-coffee-drinking colleagues.

Exceeding your personal caffeine threshold is known to cause insomnia, anxiety, tremors and heart palpitations. Especially if you have existing elevated blood pressure (2, 3).

For these reasons it’s important to listen to how your body tolerates caffeine and know your limits.

Coffee and Dehydration

Conventional wisdom says that coffee is dehydrating because it makes you need to pee.

But this long-held belief is actually wrong.

A 2014 study found that drinking regular amounts of coffee actually contributes to daily fluid requirements, just as other fluids do (4).

In theory caffeine intake should cause excess urination and fluid loss, however, caffeine in moderate quantities—such as a regular cup of coffee—does not offset the fluids you are adding when you drink it.

In other words, the amount of water (and milk) you consume with your coffee is more than enough to replace any fluids lost in the toilet.

So from this perspective, the more coffee the better.

Some Numbers To Follow

As a general rule of thumb for healthy adults, 400 mg of caffeine (about 4 standard coffees per day) is considered safe (5).

Again, it depends on your personal caffeine tolerance and any existing medical conditions.

Just be mindful that the amount of caffeine in coffee varies widely. Home-brewed and instant coffee usually contains 50-80 mg per small cup. A store-bought large or grande might have up to 300 mg.

It’s also important to note that those safe levels don’t apply to take-away coffees that contain excessive amounts of sugar, cream and other additions. The caffeine content may be okay, but the overall calories are unnecessary.

That means a daily pumpkin-spiced latte is still too much from a health point of view.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

Decaf Coffee: Good or Bad?

Starbucks, Destroyer of the Seas

Coffee: The World’s Biggest Source of Antioxidants

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The CDC is warning that people with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, whole organ transplants, and women who are pregnant could experience more severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images
Read More Show Less

More than 200 Indigenous Nations demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Canon Ball, ND on Sept. 2, 2016. Joe Brusky / Flickr

A federal judge ruled Monday that the controversial Dakota Access pipeline must be shut down and drained of oil until a full environmental review of the project is completed.

Read More Show Less
The Yersinia pestis bacteria causes bubonic plague in animals and humans. Illustration based on light microscope image At 1000x. BSIP / UIG Via Getty Images

A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Plant pathologist Carolee Bull works in her home garden in State College, Pennsylvania. Carolee Bull, CC BY-ND

By Matt Kasson, Brian Lovett and Carolee Bull

Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they're growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers' shelves. Now that gardens are largely planted, much of the work for the next several months revolves around keeping them healthy.

Read More Show Less
Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Emma Charlton

The effects of climate change may more far-reaching than you think.

Hotter temperatures have been linked to a rise in energy poverty, with more people struggling to meet their energy bills from their household income, according to a new study published on ScienceDirect by researchers from Italy's Ca' Foscari University.

Read More Show Less
Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the "brain-eating amoeba") is a free-living microscopic amoeba (single-celled living organism). Centers for Disease Control

As if the surging cases of coronavirus weren't enough for Floridians to handle, now the state's Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that a person in the Tampa area tested positive for a rare brain-eating amoeba, according to CBS News. The Florida DOH posted a warning to residents to remind them of the dangers of the rare single-celled amoeba that attacks brain tissue.

Read More Show Less

Trending


Scientists are urging the WHO to revisit their coronavirus guidance to focus more on airborne transmission and less on hand sanitizer and hygiene. John Lund / Photodisc / Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding the line on its stance that the respiratory droplets of the coronavirus fall quickly to the floor and are not infectious. Now, a group of 239 scientists is challenging that assertion, arguing that the virus is lingering in the air of indoor environments, infecting people nearby, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less