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Coffee Checklist: Are You Consuming Too Much?

Posted Apr 29 2010 8:09pm
Keruig, the world's best single cup coffee brewer.

Negative Effects of Caffeine

I’ve got a confession to make! I’m a coffee-holic. Ever since I bought myself a Keurig single cup brewer, I’ve been drinking more coffee than ever before. I love the machine but it may be the death of me.

I’m sure by now you are well aware the benefits of moderate caffeine consumption. What you may not be aware of is potential problems with consuming too much caffeine.

As a quick reminder, here’s the average breakdown of some typical beverages that contain caffeine.

Average Caffeine Content in Coffee Beverages:

  • Starbucks Tall: 260 mg
  • Keurig K-cup: 200 mg
  • Drip coffee: 115–175 mg
  • Espresso: 100 mg
  • Brewed: 80–135 mg
  • Instant: 65–100 mg
  • Decaf, Keurig K-cup: 3-5 mg
  • Decaf, brewed: 3–4 mg
  • Decaf, instant: 2–3 mg

Moderate doses of caffeine demonstrates positive benefits.

Moderate being defined as 200-300 mg of caffeine per day.
For drip coffee, that might be 1 to 2 cups a day but for a K-cup lover like myself, it changes the scope of my habit. For those who make trips to Starbucks or Peet’s, the playing field is isn’t the same as instant coffee your parents drank in 1970. This is true for the wide range of sugary caffeinated beverages in existence today that simply did not exist a decade ago.

Moderate Caffeine Consumption = 200 – 300 mg per day

In my college days, I could suck down 3 cups of Folgers ground coffee without a problem and still be under 400 mg a day. The source of the caffeine came from cheaper, less potent, store brands. Of course, the taste wasn’t all that good but the caffeine levels overall were much lower.

Here’s just a few of the higher caffeine beverages on the market that will take you to the upper levels of moderate into heavy consumption with just ONE serving.

Heavy Caffeine Consumption = 500 – 600 mg per day

  • 5150 Juice: 500 mg
  • Fixx Extreme: 400 mg
  • Boo-Koo Energy: 360 mg
  • Redline Power Rush: 350 mg
  • Spike Double Shot: 350 mg
  • Spike Shotgun: 350 mg
  • Wired X344: 344 mg
  • Rockstar Punched Guava: 330 mg
  • Starbucks Grande Coffee: 330 mg
  • All City NRG: 300 mg
  • Speed Stack Pumped N.O.: 300 mg
  • SPIKE Shooter: 300 mg

** There may be other additives in these drinks including sugar (topic for another post ) but the primary focus is on caffeine consumption. **

While moderate caffeine consumption probably won’t cause harm for most of the population unless you are extremely sensitive to caffeine, too much can noticeably affect your health. Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day, or about four to seven cups of coffee — can cause:

Negative Effects of Caffeine:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or other gastrointestinal problems
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety

Worried that you might be a heavy user of caffeine or going beyond the 600 mg per day?

If you want to change your caffeine habits, you can try some or all of the following suggestions:

  • Track Your Consumption – Such an obvious statement but in the example that I mentioned above, as the situation changes, you should re-evaluate your consumption habits. What started off at 3 cups of regular ground coffee and is now 3 K-cups a day is a drastically different level of caffeine consumption.
  • Reduce Your Usage – Instead of 3 cups, try just 2. Reducing your consumption in little amounts over time will bring you back to normal levels without making a drastic or major cutback. 1 less cup of coffee could make all the difference.
  • Switch to Decaf – Love your coffee? Switch to a decaffeinated option. While it still has small amounts of caffeine, it’s enough to bring you from heavy usage back to moderate.

Caffeine offers many health benefits in moderate amounts between 200 – 300 mg per day. But, when you reach 600 mg a day, you’ve hit the upper limits of Heavy consumption. At this point, it would be wise to take some of the recommendations above to limit your usage. As with most supplements, some is good, more is not better.

Recommended Resources for more Nutrition Facts for Coffee:

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

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