Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears safe for most healthy adults. This amount of caffeine equates to about four cups of brewed coffee. (Mayo Clinic, 2014)
However, if you are sensitive to caffeine intake or you consume more than 4 cups of coffee a day you may experience these side-effects: insomnia, restlessness, nervousness, irritability and fast heartbeat. (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about caffeine consumption being safe for you.
What compounds the negative impact of coffee is if you add sugar to your coffee. The American Heart Association recommends 9 tablespoons of added sugar per day for men and 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women.
Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are put into foods during the preparation or processing of foods/drinks. They are also sugars added to foods such as granulated sugar. Natural sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). (American Heart Association, 2014)
If you are consuming 4 cups of coffee while adding 2 tablespoons of sugar to each cup, then you are already at 8 tablespoons of added sugar for the day.
There are some steps you may take to reduce your consumption of coffee:
- Identify what triggers you to want coffee. For example, if you just came out of a stressful meeting and want a cup of coffee, then stress may be the trigger for you to drink coffee. If stressed, go for a walk outside instead of drinking coffee.
- Go decaf. Decaf coffee’s taste and look similar to their caffinated counterparts. Be aware of how much sugar you add.
- Gradually cut down. Start with eliminating your 3 o’clock coffee break. You can recharge by stepping outside and walking for 5 minutes while breathing deeply to maximize your oxygen intake.
In terms of money, if you are spending $4 a day on 2 cups of coffee then you are spending about $20 a week and about $1000 a year! If you would’ve invested this $1000 in an Index 500 Mutual Fund back in May, 2010 that money would’ve doubled by 2015. (Morningstar, 2015).
American Heart Association. (2014). Added Sugars.
Mayo Clinic. (2014). Nutrition and Healthy Eating.
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Stress Management.
Morningstar. (2015). Vanguard 500 Index Inv – Growth of $10,000.