Caution: How to Safely Consume Caffeine It's OK to Drink -- But Remember Moderation is Key

In Health by Maggie Callahan

espresso 7-28-2015 4-01-33 PM

The benefits of caffeine are definitely enticing, and with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion giving its endorsement, it can be easy to overlook its risks. But the bottom line is that some people and caffeine just don’t mix. In reality, caffeine is a drug that stimulates the nervous system. It can be pretty damn addictive with potentially terrible withdrawal symptoms.

Related: Caffeine: The Newest Health Food

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re questioning caffeine:

  • If you can’t sleep at night after a daytime cup of Joe or you’ve felt your heart doing somersaults after a Red Bull, you’re probably caffeine sensitive. Other not-so-great side effects you may experience are headaches, jitteriness or anxiety, stomach irritation, irritability, or an inability to focus.
  • If you feel like you could be caffeine-sensitive, avoid it completely or at least stay well below the daily recommended limit, which is still pretty high – 400mg / four to five cups of coffee/ four Red Bulls for healthy adults.
  • Even if you don’t feel the negative effects, chat with your doc if you’re looking to go past the recommended daily intake. Caffeine toxicity is a real thing.
  • Serious adverse reactions could occur in people with some preexisting conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Experts also strongly discourage mixing alcohol with highly caffeinated beverages like energy drinks.
  • If you want to completely cut ties with caffeine, slowly wean yourself. Quitting cold turkey can make you pretty sick, with symptoms like headache, moodiness or irritability, mental fogginess, or fatigue and drowsiness. If you’re giving it up, cut back over a course of days or even weeks.

Related: How Much Is Too Much Drinking? A Man’s Guide to Healthy Alcohol Consumption

Related: Healthy Barbecue – How to Eat Like a Man and Still Feel (and Look) Good

About the Author

Maggie Callahan

Maggie Callahan is an award-winning journalist, private chef, and health coach. After working as a newspaper reporter, Maggie followed her passion for food and nutrition and graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. She then went on to become a certified nutritional therapy practitioner with the Nutritional Therapy Association and a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph, and numerous other newspapers and magazines. She has a B.A. in journalism from Webster University. Maggie lives in Chicago with her husband and one-year-old son.

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