How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Most (80%) Americans consume coffee or other caffeinated beverages daily, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although popular, caffeine is actually a drug—a stimulant. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, resulting in a feeling of alertness around an hour after being ingested.

The FDA recommends that most healthy adults should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 400 milligrams per day. The recommended amount can vary depending on personal factors, such as pregnancy status, age and heart health. While it may feel natural to reach for a caffeinated beverage first thing in the morning or during an afternoon slump, consider these alternative habits to help you feel energized without caffeine:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Prioritize quality sleep.
  • Eat a midday snack that balances protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Caffeine content is affected by the type of drink, preparation and serving size (Source FDA):

  • Coffee: 8-100 mg/8 oz.
  • Decaf coffee: 2-15 mg/8 oz.
  • Espresso: 63 mg/1 oz.
  • Green or black tea: 30-50 mg/8 oz.
  • Soda: 30-40 mg/12 oz.
  • Energy drinks: 40-250 mg/8 oz.

If you have caffeine consumption concerns, talk to your doctor.