Are You Having Too Much Caffeine?

Nutrition

I would be the first to admit that my morning coffee plays a pretty big part of my day and the thought of cutting back too traumatic to even consider. A daily coffee or two has become a regular part of many people’s lives and if you also consider the amounts of tea, cola drinks and chocolate that can be consumed throughout the course of the day it may be worth calculating exactly how much caffeine you are getting on a daily basis.

Individuals have vastly differing tolerances for caffeine. Some people can drink ten or more coffees each day without any negative consequences while other people are extremely sensitive and are heavily affected by just one or two caffeine containing substances. A general rule of thumb is aiming to keep your total intake of caffeine below 300mg each day, which equates to 1-2 coffees and 3-4 cups of tea. Also keep in mind that a large sized coffee purchased from commercial outlets will often contain 2-3 shots of espresso coffee which can equate to as much as 200-300mg of caffeine in a single serve. 
 
A sign that you may be consuming too much caffeine is if you find that you rely on it to get through the day. Caffeine is a stimulant, which means that it does stimulate the central nervous system, increasing heart rate and blood flow. The immediate effects of such are often coveted; increased energy and attention but the downside is that this stimulatory effect is that it is a short term benefit only, with energy slumps and fatigue commonly experienced approximately an hour after the caffeine has been ingested.  For those who are sensitive, high levels of caffeine, particularly at night may also impair ones ability to get to sleep, or result in a restless sleep which is a less than desirable outcome for many sleep deprived individuals.
 
Coffee and tea are the most common drinks associated with caffeine, but it is also useful to remember that cola and energy drinks may also contain significant amounts of caffeine. This is relevant for individuals who choose to drink diet soft drinks throughout the day instead of water. Fluctuations in blood glucose levels causes by the ingestion of caffeine and/or extremely sweet tasting foods are both linked to sugar cravings and overeating so swapping such drinks to water may be a step in the right direction. 
 
 Food/drink  Total Amount Caffeine (mg)
 Coffee per shot  49-90
 Instant Coffee  20-60
 Tea  10-50
 Cola 375ml  50
 50g block dark chocolate  35-45
 50g milk chocolate  10-15
 Red Bull  80
 Chocolate Drink  10-15

 

 

Susie Burrell

Please note: This blog aims to supply user-friendly nutrition information for busy people without comprising on food taste and quality but should be used as a guide only and not in place of advice from your own dietitian or medical specialist. For further information on this topic, please consult your health professional. The content of this blog, including attachments, may be privileged and confidential. Any un-authorised use of this content is expressly prohibited. Any views that are expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of Susie Burrell Pty Ltd.
Category: Nutrition

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