How Much Caffeine is Good for You?

How Can People be Affected by Individual Caffeine Consumption?

Caffeine is fast acting. You can feel it in your system just a few minutes after ingestion. It usually remains effective for up to six hours. Caffeine affects energy levels, level of concentration and hormone levels. Used to excess, it can be detrimental to your health. Used in moderation, it can be quite beneficial.

How Much Caffeine in a Coffee Bean?

Title: Quality Coffee  License Attribution License  Photographer: Klaus Post: everystockphoto.com
Title: Quality Coffee License Attribution License Photographer: Klaus Post: everystockphoto.com

How Does Caffeine Affect Hormone Levels?

Dopamine is a feel-good hormone, and the use of caffeine increases the amount and availability of dopamine in the body. It causes a reaction similar to that which you would feel when using amphetamines. This is a two edged sword. While you may feel great when using caffeine, there is always the danger of addiction. In addiction, it takes more and more of the drug to produce the desired affect. Then the desired affect is never produced, but the addiction remains.

Adenosine is a hormone that has a calming effect on the body. The use of caffeine may inhibit adenosine absorption. This is how caffeine helps you stay alert. This can be a good thing; however, use of caffeine should not be practiced to the extent that it disrupts healthful sleep. Caffeine can help you stay alert; however, it can also disturb your sleep. It keeps your mind active for longer and shortens the amount of time you have to restore yourself during sleep. This can have a cumulative effect in the form of a sleep debt over time.

Adrenaline is produced when your body is in "fight or flight" mode. It is also produced when you ingest caffeine! This is good if you need a boost of energy. Bad if you need to sleep or just feel calm. Worst of all, when the adrenaline jolt wears off, you may crash and feel sad and exhausted.

Cortisol is the stress hormone. It has been linked to cancer, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. Excessive caffeine intake can increase cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are increased, the body tends to crave carbohydrates and fats. These substances are generally stored as fat in the abdomen. This configuration of fat causes health problems. Also, when cortisol levels are increased, people tend to want more foods that contain caffeine, so a vicious cycle is set up. More caffeine creates more cortisol which leads to more caffeine consumption which creates more cortisol, ad infinitum. These excesses can cause health to deteriorate.

I Love the Java Jive, and It Loves Me!

How Much Caffeine is Good For You?

So why use caffeine at all? Well, you may have noticed that mixed in with the warnings, there were some good points: alertness, focus, concentration, increased dopamine production and availability, and increased energy levels. The trick to getting these benefits without the negative affects is moderation. When caffeine is used judiciously, it can help with weight loss. A single dose of caffeine before a workout (say one cup of coffee) can increase performance levels and boost metabolism. When used wisely, caffeine can help your body metabolize fat about with about thirty percent greater efficiency. Additionally, caffeine can increase your blood sugar levels so that you do not feel so hungry.

How Much Caffeine Until You Notice Effects?

In addition to these benefits, if you get just the right amount of caffeine at just the right time, it can enhance your endurance and your performance while sharpening your concentration and boosting your energy levels. Since caffeine also enhances your body's ability to burn fat, this is definitely a positive double whammy when it comes to losing weight and performing well in sports and exercise. To make the best use of caffeine to enhance sports and exercise performance and boost your metabolism, have a cup of coffee (or the caffeine equivalent) about an hour before exercising. Don't wait too long or the effect may wear off and leave you feeling tired. When the caffeine has worn off, your body may feel more fatigued than before, and you may become depressed. If this is the case, then naturally, physical exercise will be more difficult rather than less difficult.

But What if I Don’t Like Coffee?

Title: Girl worker at lunch also absorbing California sunshine,  Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, CA License Public Domain  Photographer The Library of Congress
Title: Girl worker at lunch also absorbing California sunshine, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, CA License Public Domain Photographer The Library of Congress

How Much Powdered Caffeine is Equal to One Cup of Coffee?

When using caffeine powder for sports enhancement, it is typical to measure about 280 mg. This is equal to about eighteen ounces of brewed coffee or eighty-five ounces of soft drinks. Obviously, this is quite a high dose as it is easy to see that those would be massive amounts of beverages to consume.

Personally, I have found that one, 8 ounce cup of coffee about half an hour before exercise has a positive effect on performance and endurance. This would mean that approximately 90 mg of caffeine powder would be adequate for sport and exercise enhancement. Additionally, studies have indicated that you can positively affect your mood and behavior with less than 30 mg of caffeine. In fact, using a hundred milligrams a day can cause addiction, as well as negative side effects such as nervousness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and irritability. So, again, moderation is the key to reaping the benefits of caffeine without the negative side effects.

How Much Caffeine Powder is Safe?

It is important to note that, if you choose to use caffeine powder, you must take care to measure it properly. Be sure to buy a good milligram weight scale to get an accurate dose every time. Start out with a low dose (30 mg) and increase it gradually if you find that is necessary. You may get just the benefit you want from this low dose. In any event, it is probably best not to exceed 90 mg a day.

How Can I Prevent Getting Too Much Caffeine?

Don’t sabotage your health and well-being inadvertently. Remember that soft drinks contain a large amount of caffeine along with sugar, chemicals and other negative ingredients. Many people consume a great deal of caffeine in soft drinks. Many over-the-counter medications contain caffeine. You may also find caffeine in unexpected food products such as yogurt, ice cream, and chocolate. Read the label on everything that you eat or drink and keep track of how much caffeine you consume in a day. Be careful not to consume caffeine within 4 hours of bedtime.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:September 5, 2010

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Comments 43 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Good hub. The old adage "all things in moderation" would seem to apply.


PWalker281 6 years ago

Excellent, informative hub! I've had a love-hate relationship with caffeine for a while. Had to quit drinking coffee (12 oz cup a day) a while back because it was keeping me awake at night. Switched to green tea which was a little better but it still contains caffeine. My problem is that caffeine stays in my system for 12 hours, so the later in the day I drink it, the longer I'm up at night. Anyway, your hub was a good reminder of why I quit drinking coffee. I recently started up again but I think I'm gonna let it go. Thanks!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, dahoglund, it is ever thus!

PW, I find that I drink less coffee now than I used to. In the past I had to have coffee every morning. Now, I only have it every few days. I have never had a problem with it unless I drink a lot late in the day. Then, naturally, it disrupts my sleep!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I love coffee. I now drink a light coffee - half decaf and half caffinated. Moderation with caffeine is a good thing. Great information.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

I drink a strong cup of black coffee and enjoy 2 ounces of very dark chocolate every single morning! It's a great way to start the day! :D


Latrelle Ross 5 years ago

Another wonderful hub. Like any drug, caffeine affects everyone differently. There was a time when I could consume it with no problem. Now, the hormone altering affects are more than I have time to deal with ;)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Latrelle! Yes, I used to drink a lot of coffee, but when I hit the half-century mark, my consumption just naturally dropped. Now I just have my morning cup and that's about it! :)


KenWu profile image

KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

Thanks for the write up. It's very informative on the subject of caffeine. I'm addicted to caffeine but just don't admit it because it's the choice I take. Never know that caffeine can make the system store fat in the abdomen and now I know what's happening to my growing abdomen!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Well, try adding exercise after caffeine! Perhaps that will offset the negative effects and give you more energy in the long run to help you overcome your addiction!

Thanks for commenting!


JBunce 5 years ago

This was an exceptionally interesting piece for me, as I have such a low tolerance for caffeine that even a single cup of coffee or 12 to 16 ounces of caffeinated soda pretty much assure that I won't be getting to sleep that night, and much more than that will actually give me a caffeine hangover the next morning. I drink non-caffeinated sodas and herbal teas almost exclusively as a result. I used to be totally addicted, and at one time I used to bring a two-liter of Coke with me to work and drink the entire thing during the course of the day, and not even notice any kind of reaction to it. And now... I wondering if my attempts to cure my addiction worked a little too well.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you! I'm glad you liked this HUB. I think we have less tolerance for caffeine as we grow older. I know I do. I also have less desire for it.


TeaPartyCrasher profile image

TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

Interesting hub, I've been doing "1/2 caffeine" coffee for a few months now.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Tea Party! I couldn't do half caffeine coffee. If I am going to drink coffee,it has to be high quality, strong, and black, made with pure water. That's why I use an old fashioned percolator! But I do only have one mug a day now. In the past, I drank coffee all day long! :)


PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 5 years ago

I am an avid coffee drinker, every morning and during the day when I feel like I want a taste of it. Yet I do not put too much coffee powder on my cup. Just a small amount to darken the water.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Well that sounds like some terrible coffee! :P LOL! If you are going to drink coffee, make it high quality, strong and black! That's what I do! :D


rajaramravi profile image

rajaramravi 5 years ago

I vote up,super coffiene lens.I also try one article about my experience in redgage as per your comment


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks, Raj! :)


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank-you for providing such a quality hub. I linked to it in my most recent hub about how to re-energize yourself. Take care.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks! I'm glad you found it useful! :)


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Awe, thanks for adding in the link to my hub! Have a great day!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas Author

My pleasure! :)


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I have 2 to 3 cups of coffee each morning. I am sure the caffeine helps energize me, but I actually find it relaxing. I now buy decaffinated tea to drink during the day, knowing it still has some caffeine but at least I am cutting down. I used to drink at least 3 Mountain Dew sodas everyday on top of the coffee, that was way too much caffeine and calories. As you said, moderation is the key. Voting this up, useful, interesting and sharing! Have a wonderful day! :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

A neat read full of info that's both helpful and interesting. Thanks for some good food for thought. :)


Deepak Chaturvedi profile image

Deepak Chaturvedi 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Good hub I have pined, shared as well as tweet too. Thanks to share this research work with us.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

Yes, "all things in moderation, indeed." However, that said, I'm afraid I'm no moderate in terms of caffeine consumption. While I don't drink a lot of coffee, I am a big tea drinker, and I mean strong, black tea, not herb teas or green teas, which I dislike.

I drink hot tea for breakfast in the winter, and iced tea the rest of the day; in warm weather seasons, I drink iced tea all day long...and I brew it "strong enough for a mouse to walk across," so it probably has at least as much if not more caffeine than a normal cup of coffee.

In restaurants, I've had waitresses try to give me a coffee refill in my teacup, so dark do I brew my tea.

I drink it without regard to time of day or bedtime, and whether or not it makes me crave fats and carbs, I can't say, because I've always been a devout chocoholic as well--even before I drank all this much tea, and I've always had a sweet tooth; I was raised that breakfast is supposed to be sweet, whether it's just cinnamon toast or pancakes or Danish pastry, I want a sweet start to my day--it is unrelated to tea, because I developed this taste long before I was "old enough" to be drinking coffee or tea.

It never caused me problems sleeping, and my current round of insomnia I blame on stress due to our health and financial circumstances....which has been ongoing for several years now.

Like many Americans, I could stand to drop maybe 25 pounds, but I am by no means obese, because my budget simply does not allow for mountains of junk food snacks to be on hand...and I have no particular 'cravings' for such, either. Sometimes I want some chips and dip...but I don't get it often, and once in a while is enough anyway.

My daughter, on the other hand, is allergic or at least over-sensitive to caffeine--she can't even have a single cup of coffee without getting the shakes. So it really is about individual reactions and metabolism in the end.

Voted up and interesting.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for your great comments! Yes, I enjoy my coffee and a bite of pure, dark chocolate every day when I get up. It's a good way to jump start the day. :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

When my husband worked full time out of the house, I never drank coffee except on weekends when he was home. Now he brews a pot of coffee every morning and I find that I enjoy a cup or two. We also like the occasional espresso after dinner. That is not a regular indulgence but enjoyed when it happens. Up, useful and interesting votes on this hub!


StephSev108 profile image

StephSev108 3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thanks for the awesome hub! I voted up!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks ladies! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Will be pinning this to my health related subjects board on Pinterest. Am sure others will also find this interesting.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks! :)


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

Very interesting article. We in North India are not much of coffee drinkers but we drink a lot of tea so I am sure it also contains some caffine. Sharing this and voting up and awesome.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, it contains caffeine and good antioxidants! Thanks! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Suzanne,

Came back to let you know that I am going to give this good article of yours a tweet. I enjoyed my cup of coffee this morning after breakfast. Love the smell of it being brewed!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks! :)


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Suzanne. Thanks for writing this informative hub about caffeine. I knew it had pros and cons. Caffeine raises my heart rate, so I don't use it. My niece gave it up for same reason. I also heard too much can deplete calcium from bones. You presented such through organized info that it may be a lifesaver to some readers. Tweeting and pinning. Love your hubs. Blessings. Audrey


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Audrey! I appreciate your kind words and support! :)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Hi Suzanne, I love my coffee what can I say. I just had two cups leaded (no unleaded/decaf) for me. Great Article, my doctor would agree with you.

Voted up, U/A/I and shared. I would do more but I need a nap.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

Medical news seems to change with the years. The latest news about drinking coffee is that drinking up to 4 or 5 cups a day is fine. I seldom drink that much because I end up with an acid stomach. Will soon have my first cup of the day! :)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 18 months ago from Texas Author

Yeah, I try to stay middle of the road because a lot of the changes in advice seem to be profit motivated. Moderation is all things is the key! :D


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

I agree with you in that moderation seems to be the age old advice which seems to wear well no matter what the latest studies show.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 18 months ago from Texas Author

Right! It definitely runs counter to our consumer based society. People who are secure and steady in their habits are not easily manipulated into buying into the latest fad or craze! :D

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