There’s nothing quite like the smell of a freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Whether it be from hot water and instant granules, a large coffee pot at work, or some fancy concoction from your local café, the majority of us can’t get through the day without at least one cup of the stuff. However, caffeine isn’t just present in coffee. Energy drinks, tea, and cocoa all contain different levels of the stuff, meaning that your consumption throughout the day can really add up.
In a general sense, caffeine is pretty safe. The effect it has upon you will depend on your tolerance, individual response, and current health, but for most people, 400mg per day can be handled pretty well according to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).
Common Caffeine Levels
Here are the rough levels of caffeine in common drinks:
- Decaf Coffee – 5mg
- Green Tea – 25mg
- Coke – 34mg
- Black Tea – 42mg
- Diet Coke – 46mg
- Tsp of Instant Coffee – 57mg
- Red Bull – 76mg
- Espresso Shot – 77mg
- Tim Horton’s Regular Coffee – 140mg
- Dunkin’ Donuts Small Coffee – 150mg
- Starbucks Short Coffee – 165mg
- Rockstar Energy Drink – 165mg
Now, some people can handle more than 400mg, but 400mg is what has been tested as safe across various examining bodies. For pregnant or breastfeeding women, the limit is cut in half to 200mg per day. Some studies have suggested that 300mg is safe, but it’s heavily advised to play it on the safer side. As well as this, anyone who has issues with their cardiovascular system will also want to limit their caffeine consumption due to the increased heart rate.
Caffeine Per Day
When it comes to children, there’s not been enough research in that specific area to draw anything conclusive. However, the EFSA recommend using the upper limit for single doses to determine a younger individual’s intake. This level is 3mg per kg body weight, though other bodies have suggested 2.5mg per kilogram per day.
The EFSA also suggest that 100mg taken near bedtime can affect sleep quality and your ability to get to sleep. The effects of caffeine last for up to 6 hours, so it’s heavily suggested to stop consuming caffeine from 4pm onwards. In fact, caffeine has a half-life of around 5 hours for most individuals, meaning that you’ll still have caffeine circulating in your blood for 10 hours after having any.
For the majority of people, you’ll probably be able to tell how much caffeine you can handle as too much at once can cause anxiety and jitters. Though, if you really want to make sure you’re on the safe side, then stick to 400mg per day and limit that to the hours before 4pm.