How Caffeine Affects Your Health
posted by Lehi Willowcreek Family Medicine | January 8, 2020
Coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks—all of these beverages contain caffeine. And if you’re like many people, you consume one or more of these drinks every day.
The amount of caffeine you’re consuming varies depending upon your drink of choice. Do you enjoy cola? A 12-ounce typically has 35 to 45 mg, according to MedlinePlus. If you’re a tea drinker, each cup you consume has 14 to 60 mg of caffeine. Energy drinks contain more, between 70 and 100 mg per serving. And as for coffee, an 8-ounce mug may have anywhere from 95 to 200 mg.
Drinking caffeinated beverages can affect your health in both positive and negative ways. And for some people, limiting or avoiding any caffeine intake can be wise. Here’s what you need to know about caffeine consumption and your health.
Most people can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine in a day without any negative effects. If your caffeine intake is higher, you may experience one or more of the following health problems:
Caffeine can also interfere with your body’s absorption of calcium, and excessive consumption may increase your blood pressure.
Some people can benefit from limiting or avoiding caffeine consumption. If any of the following apply to you, ask your family doctor if caffeine intake is a concern:
In addition, certain medications and supplements—including some antibiotics, stimulants, asthma medicines and heart medicines—can interact with caffeine. If you currently take any medication or use supplements, check with your doctor to ensure drinking caffeinated beverages won’t result in any interactions.
Habitual coffee drinkers enjoy several health benefits, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Evidence has shown that drinking coffee on a regular basis may:
Furthermore, coffee is a great source of antioxidants, which help protect the cells in your body from damage. Regular consumption of coffee is also associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a lower risk of total mortality.
Energy drinks often contain large amounts of caffeine. Plus, their labels do not always provide an accurate explanation of how much caffeine is really in your drink.
Companies make many claims about the benefits of energy drinks, saying that they improve both mental and physical performance. Very little evidence exists to support this—and in fact, because of their high sugar content, energy drinks may lead to weight gain and worsening symptoms of diabetes.
Ultimately, how much caffeine you consume should be a discussion between you and your primary care provider. If you feel like your caffeine intake is affecting you, talk to your doctor.
“Is Coffee Good for You or Not?” American Heart Association (AHA).
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.