7 Facts About Caffeine and Your Health

We break down the facts about caffeine to help you decide how much to consume.

Whether you prefer caffeine from coffee, tea, colas, or another source, you should limit yourself to 400 mg of caffeine on a daily basis, according to the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You’ll typically reach this limit after three to five cups of coffee. If you consume more than that, you run the risk of developing headaches, anxiety, insomnia, heart rhythm issues, and other health problems.

FACT 1: Caffeine is a drug—specifically, a stimulant, which means that it stimulates your central nervous system and makes you feel more alert.

FACT 2: Caffeine works by blocking adenosine, a chemical in your brain that causes sleepiness.

FACT 3: Caffeine causes you to urinate more often than usual because it is a diuretic.

FACT 4: Caffeine can cause heartburn by making your stomach release more acid.

FACT 5: Caffeine may affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.

FACT 6: Caffeine raises your blood pressure.

FACT 7: Caffeine can cause dependence if you consume too much of it, resulting in caffeine withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, drowsiness, irritability, and nausea, if you try to quit or cut back on your intake.

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