Most of us couldn’t get out of bed in the morning without a good cup of coffee and it seems the coffee shop industry reflects our love of the drink. There are literally millions of coffee shops in the world now and the United States tops the list with over 65,000.
The coffee shop industry is worth an estimated 450 billion and it’s still growing rapidly, and it is expected to continue to grow in the coming years thanks to the growing number of working professionals, and the increasing number of people who are looking for a place to work or socialize.
So how safe is it to drink caffeine?
The average person drinks 1.4 cups of coffee per day. Caffeine itself is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderation. The Mayo Clinic recommends that healthy adults limit their caffeine intake to 400 milligrams (mg) per day. This is roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, or two “energy shot” drinks.
However, caffeine can have some negative side effects, especially if consumed in large amounts. These side effects can include:
- Anxiety: Caffeine can increase anxiety in some people.
- Restlessness: Caffeine can make you feel restless and jittery.
- Trouble sleeping: Caffeine can interfere with sleep.
- Headaches: Caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches.
- Fast heart rate: Caffeine can increase your heart rate.
If you experience any of these side effects, you should reduce your caffeine intake but remember there is no one size fits all, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others.
If you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or breastfeeding, the safest caffeine drinks are those that contain less than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per serving. This is the amount that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) considers to be safe for pregnant women.
Recommended caffeine drinks include:
- Decaf coffee: Decaf coffee contains very little caffeine, typically around 2-15 mg per cup.
- Tea: Black tea, green tea, and herbal tea all contain caffeine, but in varying amounts. Black tea typically contains around 47 mg of caffeine per cup, while green tea contains around 35 mg and herbal tea contains around 20 mg.
- Chocolate: Dark chocolate contains around 20 mg of caffeine per ounce, while milk chocolate contains around 10 mg.
- Soda: Most sodas contain around 30 mg of caffeine per can.
The Daily Mail newspaper wrote an article claiming there was no safe level
Some experts believe that even 200 mg of caffeine per day may be too much.. In 2020, they published a story about a controversial study that claimed that there was “no safe level” of caffeine for pregnant women.
The study, which was published in the journal Human Reproduction, was conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. The researchers found that even small amounts of caffeine could increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth.
The study’s findings were met with mixed reactions from the medical community. Some experts agreed with the study’s conclusions, while others argued that the evidence was not strong enough to warrant such a drastic recommendation.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) did not change its existing guidelines on caffeine intake during pregnancy, which state that pregnant women can safely consume up to 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.
The study’s author, Dr. Jean Golding, defended her findings, saying that they were based on a large and well-conducted study. She also said that the study’s results were consistent with other research on the effects of caffeine during pregnancy.
Can energy drinks make you lose your pregnancy?
There is some evidence that suggests that energy drinks can increase the risk of miscarriage. A study published in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology” found that women who drank more than two energy drinks per week were more likely to have a miscarriage than women who did not drink energy drinks.
The study’s authors believe that the caffeine in energy drinks may be responsible for the increased risk of miscarriage. Caffeine can cross the placenta and reach the developing baby. In high doses, caffeine can have a number of negative effects on the baby, including increased heart rate, decreased blood flow, and low birth weight.
But it’s important to note that the study didn’t prove that energy drinks caused the miscarriages. It is possible that other factors, such as underlying health conditions, were also contributing to the risk.
If you are pregnant, it is best if you can avoid energy drinks altogether. There are many other ways to stay awake and alert, such as drinking water, eating healthy snacks, and getting enough sleep.
Here are some additional tips for staying safe during pregnancy:
- Talk to your doctor: If you are concerned about the effects of caffeine on your pregnancy, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine how much caffeine is safe for you to consume.
- Read food labels carefully: Many foods and drinks contain caffeine, so it is important to read food labels carefully.
- Avoid energy drinks: Energy drinks typically contain a high amount of caffeine, so it is best to avoid them.
- Switch to decaf: If you are a heavy coffee drinker, you may want to switch to decaf.
How unhealthy will I be if I drink a lot of caffeine?
If you’re drinking eight cups of coffee a day, that’s too much. In rare cases, drinking too much caffeine can lead to more serious health problems, such as:
- Seizures. In very high doses, caffeine can cause seizures.
- Death. In extremely high doses, caffeine can be fatal.
Studies have shown that excessive caffeine can affect a foetus, and is associated with lower birth weight and other complications.
Should I cut out caffeine altogether?
If you feel comfortable reducing your caffeine intake then it’s a good idea, but cutting out caffeine in one go can trigger some very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms typically start within 12 to 24 hours after you stop consuming caffeine, and they peak at 20 to 51 hours. The most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle pain
The severity of caffeine withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person. Some people may only experience mild symptoms, while others may experience more severe symptoms. The amount of caffeine you consume on a regular basis also affects the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms typically last for 2 to 9 days. Here are some tips to help you manage caffeine withdrawal symptoms:
- Gradually reduce your caffeine intake over a period of several weeks. This will help to minimize the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will help to flush caffeine out of your system and relieve some of the symptoms of withdrawal.
- Get enough sleep. Caffeine can interfere with sleep, so getting enough sleep will help to improve your overall mood and energy levels.
- Exercise. Exercise can help to improve your mood and energy levels, and it can also help to reduce anxiety.
- Find other ways to stay alert. If you find that you are struggling to stay alert without caffeine, try to find other ways to stay awake, such as getting enough sunlight, taking breaks throughout the day, or listening to upbeat music.