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Coffee and Caffeine – How Much Should You Drink

How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?

Cup of Coffee

The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

The caffeine content in a cup of coffee is highly variable, ranging from 50 to 400+ mg per cup.

A small home-brewed cup of coffee could contain 50 mg, while a big 16 oz Starbucks grande can contain over 300 mg.

As a general rule, you can assume that an average 8 ounce cup of coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine.

Several sources suggest that 400 mg of caffeine, or 4 cups of coffee, are safe for most healthy adults.

However, many people (including myself) drink much more than that without any issues.

Keep in mind that there are many other sources of caffeine besides coffee, including tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate and certain medications.

Short-Term Symptoms of Too Much Caffeine

Businessman Wired From Too Much Coffee

When it comes to the health effects of coffee, there are both short- and long-term symptoms.

Let’s talk about the short-term symptoms first, which are mostly related to the caffeine itself.

Caffeine works primarily in the brain, where it affects the function of neurotransmitters and exerts a stimulant effect.

If you drink too much coffee in a short amount of time, you will experience symptoms mostly related to your brain and digestive system.

Here are some common symptoms of ingesting too much caffeine:

  • Restlessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dizziness.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Irritability.
  • Insomnia.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Tremors.

If you experience such symptoms after drinking coffee, then you may be sensitive to caffeine and may want to cut back your intake (or simply avoid caffeine altogether).

It is possible to die from a caffeine overdose, but this is next to impossible to do with coffee alone. You would have to drink more than 100 cups in a single day.