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How Often Should You Consume Caffeine? (Effect on the Body)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: August 14, 2023

Caffeine is a part of most adults’ daily routine thanks to its ability to alleviate fatigue.

The Food and Drug Administration cited that 80% of Americans consume caffeine-infused beverages daily.

Recently, I got asked by a client how much caffeine is safe to take.

To give them the right answer, I spent several weeks of research with the help of our nutritionist to learn how often people should consume caffeine to help them reap the benefits of caffeine and avoid its unpleasant side effects.

Quick Summary

  • Caffeine can have many health benefits if used within the accepted dose, including preventing diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The amount of caffeine you should consume can vary depending on factors such as your body weight and whether you take medication.
  • Too much caffeine can cause various side effects, mostly related to the digestive system and brain.

How Much Caffeine Should You Consume?

Coffee beverage with beans spilled around

Men should consume 300-400 milligrams of caffeine daily to take advantage of its benefits.

However, a study showed that adult women shouldn't consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, and children should consume 2.5 mg per kilogram bodyweight [1].

It has long been known that moderate consumption of caffeine can have positive effects on both your energy levels and mood, but there are numerous health benefits associated with drinking coffee.

Studies have shown that regular moderate consumption of caffeine through coffee is linked to preventing many health risks.

People who drink coffee have a lower risk of liver cancer, hepatitis C [2], and: 

  • Diabetes [3]
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [4]
  • Parkinson’s disease [5]

How Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

A woman holding a cup of coffee

Caffeine affects your body by inhibiting the effects of a substance in the central nervous system called adenosine, which leads to feeling less sleepy and tired for up to twelve hours [6].

Additionally, caffeine promotes the circulation of substances such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body and reduces levels of the hormone melatonin.

When consumed in moderation, caffeine can help you feel concentrated and refreshed.

However, consuming too much caffeine can lead to many adverse effects, including anxiety and difficulty sleeping.

Like many other drugs, it’s possible to develop a tolerance to caffeine, meaning you require larger caffeine consumption to achieve the same effects.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Too much caffeine is more than 400 mg a day for healthy adults, as determined by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the safe upper limit.

That's about four cups of coffee and around five cans of energy drinks. 

However, you might want to consume less than the recommended amount of caffeine if you are sensitive to caffeine.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg.

“A fetus’s body breaks down caffeine more slowly because it lacks a specific chemical compound. That doesn’t mean you should avoid caffeine entirely during pregnancy, but obstetricians recommend limiting your intake to less than 200 milligrams per day.”

- Dan Brennan, MD and Editor at

Although the FDA has not established a limit for kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against kids and teenagers using caffeine and other stimulants.

Can Caffeine Harm Your Health?

A woman drinking coffee, pouring caffeine drink from coffee maker

Caffeine can harm your health if you exceed the recommended dose (four hundred milligrams a day).

Too much caffeine can cause:

  • Insomnia: Too much coffee can cause insomnia symptoms because it can suppress the production of melatonin [7].
  • Dependence: Like other psychoactive drugs, caffeine can lead to abuse and addiction  [8].
  • Heart palpitations: Research has proven that overconsumption of caffeine can increase risk of heart attack in men [9].
  • Nausea: Caffeine withdrawal is believed to cause nausea, headaches, difficulty focusing, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms. These signs often appear 12-24 hours after stopping caffeine intake and might last 3-7 days [10].
  • Increased blood pressure: Caffeine will increase adrenaline and as a result, raise your body’s blood pressure [11].
  • Anxiousness: Previous research revealed caffeine can cause distress, anxiety, and depression [12].

The FDA estimates more dangerous caffeine side effects, such as seizures with rapid consumption of around 12.000 milligrams of caffeine, or 0.15 tbsp of pure caffeine.

One tablespoon of pure caffeine contains the equivalent of twenty-eight cups of coffee, while a half cup of a liquid highly concentrated caffeine product can contain the same amount of caffeine as twenty cups of coffee.

When caffeine is highly concentrated, even small dosages could lead to dangerous effects, including death.

Quitting caffeine-containing beverages cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, headaches, and fatigue [12].


How Much Caffeine Should You Have Weekly?

You should have no more than 2800 milligrams of caffeine per week. That’s around twenty cups of brewed coffee. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, even moderate intake can cause  adverse effects.

What Happens If You Consume Caffeine Daily?

If you consume caffeine daily, it can actually cause fatigue. This is because your body builds up a tolerance to caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to other health problems such as headaches, heart palpitations, and trouble sleeping.

How Often Should You Take A Break From Caffeine?

You should take a break from caffeine every few weeks. Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, so it can lead to dehydration, anxiety, and insomnia. Caffeine is also a mild addictive substance, so it’s good to cut back on drinking coffee for a while.

Drinking Caffeine The Right Way

The consensus among health experts is that caffeine can be included in a healthy diet for most individuals. Usually, it won't pose a health problem. But be mindful of caffeine's possible side effects and be ready to cut back if necessary.

I advise my clients who want to give up their drinking coffee habit to consider one of the best pre-workouts:

I have seen my clients increase their performance drastically after using these pre-workouts. It has provided them with improved focus and a motivational boost to get them through every training.


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