In less than an hour after drinking your morning coffee, you start to feel the effects of caffeine on your body. You have more energy; you're more alert and more productive. The feeling of exhaustion is left behind.
If you're one of those people who rely on caffeine to overcome exhaustion, you're not alone: 9 out of every 10 Americans consume some type of caffeine daily. Either through coffee or medicines containing this substance.
Although it's been proven that consuming a moderate amount of caffeine doesn't cause any harm to our body, consuming it in excess could notably affect our health.
But how much is too much?
For a consumer who isn´t sensitive to caffeine, the thin red line lies between 500 and 600 mg a day or the equivalent of 4-7 cups of coffee. These amounts could cause:
- Muscle tremors
- Nausea, diarrhea, and other stomach problems
If you're sensitive to this substance, lesser amounts could have the same effects. Sensitivity depends on different factors such as your body mass index (BMI) and personal background regarding the consumption of this stimulant: those who don't consume coffee regularly tend to be less susceptible to its negative effects than those who do drink it regularly.
Also, be aware that stressful situations could increase sensitivity to caffeine. And this substance negatively interferes with your sleep cycle if you drink it at night.
Modifying your behaviors with respect to caffeine, especially the amount you take in, is a process that should be done gradually: any abrupt change could result in irritability, headaches, and nervousness.
To adopt new habits, we recommend:
Be aware of how much caffeine is in the drinks and foods you consume.When you take a look at the labels, you'll probably be surprised to find out you're consuming more than you should.
Reduce your intake, little by little.Slightly reduce the amount of coffee you drink every day until you reach a limit that lies within healthy standards.
Start to replace it with decaffeinated products. Although they're not completely caffeine-free, the final daily amount will, of course, be less.
Choose herbal teas.They don't contain caffeine.
Check the amount of caffeine in over-the-counter medicines.Pain relievers such as Excedrin or Anacin can contain between 65 and 130 mg of caffeine in one dose. Choose caffeine-free medicines.
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