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Sharp Or Risky?

There are millions of cups of coffee consumed everyday in the USA alone. Coffee is taken as a pick-me-up in the morning or as an occasion to bond with friends and family. Coffee is also a good balm for cold winter days, or a good stimulant for when you’re burning the midnight oil. Coffee drinking is such a widely accepted custom, and most acknowledge that there is no harm in it. But how much coffee is too much coffee?
There are many proposed benefits to drinking coffee such as keeping a person alert, improving concentration, and some studies even suggest that regular coffee drinking can lower a person’s risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some forms of dementia. Although there are no conclusive findings yet, the results from studies have been promising. But like many other things, there are also risks to excessive coffee drinking. This includes having difficulty sleeping, can contribute to weight gain (because it signals the body to take in more calories), anxiety, heartburn, osteoporosis and dehydration. Coffee is also known for its addictive qualities, which is why coffee drinkers crave it regularly.

It would be very hard to give up coffee, but the good news is that you don’t really have to. As long as you keep your coffee consumption moderate, there should be no problem with taking a few cups a day. Experts propose drinking no more than 4 cups of coffee a day on average or 200-300 milligrams of caffeine. People who consume large amounts of caffeine or more than 500 milligrams a day may experience adverse effects such as nervousness, restlessness, muscle spasms, quickened pulse, stomach upset and irritability. If you’re taking too much coffee to try and get some work done, taking too much might yield just the opposite effect.

Some people might be more sensitive to caffeine more than others so try and gauge your personal limit. People who might be extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine may include those who do not drink coffee often, those who have a smaller body frame and people who suffer from certain medical conditions. Research also suggests that women can tolerate caffeine effects more than men. People who are taking certain medications will also be advised to stop or lessen their caffeine intake, such as those who are taking antibiotics, theophylline and Echinacea.

Even though you don’t need to stop, it would be wise to keep your coffee consumption to a healthy minimum, about 1-2 cups a day. It would be best not to take coffee a few hours before bedtime so that it won’t interfere with your sleep. You could also go decaf, or coffee which has been decaffeinated. You can still enjoy the same rich taste of coffee with decaf without the effects.