WHAT IS “Moderate?”
Moderate caffeine consumption is considered to be in the range of 300 to 400 milligrams per day, or about three to four 8-ounce cups of home-brewed coffee. According to the FDA, the European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada, caffeine consumption of up to 400 mg daily is not associated with adverse health effects in the general, healthy population of adults.
You can limit caffeine’s effects on your sleep pattern by avoiding consumption within a few hours before going to bed. Establish a regular sleep routine, exercise early in the day and stay hydrated. Consult a doctor if your sleep difficulties are severe, as they may indicate an underlying condition.
An 8-oz. energy drink contains about the same amount of caffeine as an 8-oz. cup of home-brewed coffee—about 80 mg. A study found that average daily caffeine intake didn’t change significantly between 1999 and 2010 despite the introduction of energy drinks and other caffeine-containing foods and beverages.
U.S. and international health agencies and organizations say that some caffeine is generally safe for pregnant and nursing women, while also suggesting that they limit consumption to no more than 200 mg/day (or roughly two 8-ounce cups of home-brewed coffee).
Caffeinated beverages do not cause dehydration and in fact can contribute to hydration. While caffeine itself has a mild diuretic effect, it is offset by the liquid in the beverage. The Institute of Medicine has concluded that caffeinated beverages contribute to total daily water intake.
Studies indicate that caffeine does not increase the risk of heart disease or chronic high blood pressure—although some may experience a temporary increase in blood pressure. If you have a history of these conditions, talk with your physician about your caffeine consumption to determine the amount that is best for you.
Some people—such as children, pregnant women and those with heart conditions—can differ in their sensitivity to caffeine. Individual sensitivity also varies among the general population. You can avoid undesirable effects of over-consumption by controlling the timing and amount of your caffeine intake.