Is there really such a thing as having too much coffee? Hate to break it to you, but yes. You really can have too much of a good thing. But when it comes to the actual limit of how much coffee you can have in a day, the number is a lot higher than you would expect. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, you can have at least four cups of coffee on a daily basis!
Sound almost impossible? Let’s do the math. According to the Mayo Clinic, an average adult is allowed 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day. Given that a normal 8 oz. cup of coffee has around 100 milligrams of caffeine, you can drink up to four cups in order to stay safe. That means you can have up to 28 ounces of coffee a day!
Surprisingly, caffeine has a lot of great health benefits for a person’s body. According to one study published by Longevity & Healthspan, drinking caffeine on a regular basis can actually extend your life. Caffeine also improves your memory and mental functioning, speeds up your reaction times, and of course, decreases your fatigue. Even the AARP says drinking coffee on a regular basis can increase longevity compared to coffee abstainers!
But as we said, there is such thing as having too much caffeine. According to Healthline, drinking more than 1,000 milligrams of caffeine a day can cause negative effects on the body including increased anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. And while drinking caffeinated coffee has shown to increase longevity, drinking too much coffee can actually have the opposite effect.
By drinking more than four cups of coffee, the Mayo Clinic highlights some serious side effects including frequent headaches, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, frequent urination, fast heartbeat, muscle tremors, and more. It can also wreak havoc on your sleep patterns if you’re drinking coffee later in the afternoon. The Mayo Clinic points out that “even small amounts of sleep loss can add up and disturb your daytime alertness and performance.”
So do yourself a favor and cap your caffeine intake at four cups of coffee a day. And while having a sugary mocha once in a blue moon is a fun treat, typically those frothy beverages are drowning in added sugars. It’s best to keep your coffee black or to fill it with some milk, plant-based alternatives, or low-sugar creamers.
And if you’re in need of a hot beverage in the late afternoon, you can always brew yourself a pot of green tea—which is also full of all kinds of health benefits!