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June 15, 2018 06:19 PM

Caffeine: How Much Is Too Much?

For many of us, you probably can't imagine a morning without coffee.

The good news is you don't have to.

But you should follow a few guidelines.

It helps you wake up, get going and conquer the day. 
 
But is all that caffeine healthy?

"If I work I usually get Starbucks. Like a venti, the largest size if I work. At home I usually drink two cups," Brittany Vierhout said. 

Vierhout says while coffee is part of her routine, she makes sure the intake stops by 3 p.m. to avoid problems sleeping. 

"Caffeine intake can be a healthy option if you're doing less than 400 milligrams or less a day for a healthy adult, which can range from about one to three cups of coffee or around two shots of any caffeinated beverages," Registered dietitian Anna Heronimus said. 

Heronimus says caffeine content varies from drink to drink, but one cup of coffee typically has 80 to 150 milligrams. 

"I do caution if you're getting any type of specialty drink sometimes those can get up to 400 milligrams and most people aren't just getting an 8oz, they're getting a 16 or even a little more if it's been a rough morning," Heronimus said.  

Depending on what drink Viehout is craving, her venti sized or 24oz coffee can contain up to 470 milligrams of caffeine, according to Starbucks.com. 

Side effects such as insomnia, the jitters, and a fast heartbeat can occur from a caffeine overload. 

Vierhout says she has experienced those side effects before, but she still can't imagine a day without her coffee. 

"Especially after having kids, just getting through the day. Being more productive," Vierhout said. 

Heronimus suggests eating a nutritious breakfast alongside your cup of joe, and avoiding the sugar filled coffee drinks if you want a pick-me-up without the crash. 

"Make sure you aren't getting just caffeine and you are getting a great breakfast full of whole grains and some fruits," Heronimus said. 

Heronimus also says try to avoid any form of caffeine content at least 6 hours before bed. 


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