Caffeine: Friend or Foe?

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

If you’re like many adults in the US, your morning starts off with a hot cup of coffee. You tell yourself you can’t live without it. More to the point, you can’t live without the welcomed jolt of caffeine to kick start your day.

Millions of Americans rely on caffeine every day. It helps them get out of bed, get ready to face the day, and stay awake and attentive while at work. There’s nothing inherently wrong with drinking caffeine, but the beloved substance has been catching a lot of heat lately because of energy drinks.

The Goods on Caffeine

To put it straightforwardly, caffeine is a stimulant. It’s found in certain plants and beans that humans have been consuming for hundreds if not thousands of years. For Americans of course, the coffee bean and soft drinks are the popular ways of getting caffeine.


As a stimulant, caffeine simply puts your nervous system in overdrive. Your heart rate increases and so does your metabolism. Everything works in a slightly heightened state. But sometimes caffeine can cause anxiety, erratic and fast heart rates, and increased blood pressure; not exactly healthy side effects. Then again, for others, or people who have consumed caffeine for a long time, the effects are not nearly as immediate or bad at all. Their bodies simply get used to it.

Around 300 mg to 500 mg of caffeine is considered safe for most adults. This is equivalent to about 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day, which many people fall under. It’s near impossible to overdose on caffeine – it would require a lot of pure caffeine tablets! Most people do not get close to even 300 mg of caffeine, but there are those that do and they experience some unpleasant side effects.

When is it too much?

Just because you can drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day, or 300 to 500 mg of caffeine, doesn’t mean you should. There are still other side effects that can come from too much caffeine use. According to MayoClinic, some additional side effects from consuming too much caffeine include: “insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors.”

If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, caffeine is definitely not your friend, but a foe. It’s certainly easy to see if caffeine is the reason behind any of the symptoms or problems you’re having. Simply cut back; it might be hard at first, but you’ll be able to quickly determine just how much caffeine you actually need and consequently avoid taking too much.