Regardless of why (addiction, taste, habit, etcâŚ) itâs estimated that about 90% of the U.S. population regularly consumes caffeine. And itâs not hard to. The stimulant, which has been enjoyed for thousands of years, is found in loads of stuff from beverages and chocolate to pain medications.
“Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug,â said Mary M. Sweeney, an instructor who researches caffeineâs effects on individuals in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. âWhen we consume caffeine, it has positive effects on mood and alertness, and people like these beneficial effects.’âÂ 1″
- healthy adults canÂ safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily, the amount in about four 8-ounce cups of coffee. (Depending on the source, an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee can containÂ 75 to 165 milligramsÂ of caffeine.)3
- healthy pregnant women can consume up to 300 milligrams of caffeine daily, an amount that is âgenerally not associated withÂ adverseÂ reproductive and developmentalÂ effects,â though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautionsÂ pregnant women to limit caffeineÂ to 200 milligrams daily.4
- children and adolescents should not exceed an intake of 2.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day, though they state that the available literature for these groups was âscant.â For a child weighing 55 pounds, this translates to a daily limit of 62.5 milligrams of caffeine.5
Tips for cutting back on caffeine
1. Keep a caffeine diary.Â It can inform you of how much caffeine you are consuming, and it may be more or less than what you may think, Sweeney said. This strategy was a helpful intervention for people seeking treatment to reduce their caffeine use in a study conducted by Sweeney and other researchers at Johns Hopkins University. (In the study, which also involved brief counseling, people reduced their caffeine intake from an average of 600 milligrams per day to 50 milligrams during a six-week period.