If you like to start your morning with a cup of coffee, you won’t be surprised to learn that you’re in good company. About 90% of adults in the U.S. consume caffeine daily.
With so many of us consuming caffeine, it’s important to consider how it could be affecting our health.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that works to keep you alert and ward off feelings of tiredness. It can be found in many forms, including coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks.
Research shows that there are both potential benefits and risks to consuming certain caffeinated drinks.
Some studies show that regularly consuming coffee is associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, slowed progression of dementia and protection of liver and heart health. Others have found that regularly drinking tea may boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
However, there are risks to overconsumption of caffeine. The FDA recommends that adults do not exceed 400 milligrams a day of caffeine, which is equal to about four 8-ounce cups of coffee.
Children younger than 12 should avoid coffee all together, and teenagers should have no more than 100 milligrams per day.
Consuming too much coffee can cause anxiety, raise blood pressure and lead to difficulty sleeping. Keep in mind that caffeinated beverages — especially sodas and energy drinks — often are filled with sugar, too, which comes with its own set of health risks.
Learn more about the risks of caffeine and who should avoid or limit their consumption at the U.S. National Institutes of Health website.
Moving forward, be mindful of the ingredients and caffeine content in your daily beverages, and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns related to your caffeine habits.
Natalie Peters is the community health educator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.