Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world, and there are a lot of reasons to love it. It can help shake off sleep inertia — that groggy feeling you get after waking up — it can boost mental and physical performance, it contains plenty of antioxidants, and it has health benefits like protecting you from type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. There’s even a reported association between coffee consumption and lowered risk of suicide.
But, you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to caffeine. Consuming too much can give you unpleasant side effects like jitters and headaches, and it can easily keep you awake at night, which can lead to low energy levels, poor productivity, and all the adverse health effects that come with sleep deprivation.
How much caffeine is too much exactly? Below, we’ll dive into what science has to say on the matter. We’ll also show you how you can use the RISE app to make sure caffeine doesn’t impact your sleep, as well as ways you can boost your energy without reaching for a cup of coffee.
There is no one amount of caffeine that’s agreed upon as too much.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should limit your caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day. Other research states 300 mg of caffeine is not associated with adverse effects in healthy adults.
But the amount of caffeine that produces adverse effects depends on:
The amount of caffeine in foods and drinks also varies widely. It depends on factors like the type of coffee beans or tea leaves, for example.
As a rough guide, here’s the caffeine content of common foods and drinks:
Even though 400 mg is generally agreed upon as the caffeine limit, your personal limit may be less than this if:
Before consuming caffeine when pregnant, check with your healthcare provider to find out if it’s safe for you and how much exactly you can consume.
In general, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says pregnant women should limit caffeine to less than 200 milligrams a day. This is also the limit for those breastfeeding.
Other research says pregnant women and those planning on becoming pregnant should limit themselves to 300 mg a day.
If that’s less than you usually consume, you can find out how to get energy when pregnant here.
While you don’t meet many teenagers who love double-shot espressos, caffeinated drinks like sugary energy drinks, soft drinks, and sweetened coffee drinks are popular in this age group.
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, teenagers should limit themselves to 100 mg of caffeine per day and avoid energy drinks altogether.
Excessive caffeine intake in teenagers can lead to:
It’s recommended children under 12 don’t consume caffeine at all.
The adverse effects of caffeine are different for everyone, but you might be consuming too much of it for you if you notice these negative effects:
Caffeine overdose is rare, but it can happen. In large amounts, caffeine can cause a high heart rate, arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), vomiting, convulsions, coma, and death. Typically, you’d need to consume more than 5 grams of caffeine to overdose, however.
Most of us won’t get close to consuming that amount while drinking coffee and tea, but you should watch out for products with concentrated caffeine such as caffeine supplements and weight loss supplements.
Just found out you drink over the recommended daily caffeine limit? Here’s how to cut down.
If you’ve been consuming caffeine for a while, chances are, you’re going to experience some withdrawal symptoms when you cut down. To reduce how badly this affects you, cut down slowly, rather than going cold turkey or suddenly halving your daily intake.
The American Migraine Foundation recommends reducing caffeine intake by 25% each week to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Being dehydrated can cause headaches and fatigue — two things you might be feeling from your lack of coffee to begin with. Lessen these symptoms by drinking enough water each day.
Withdrawal symptoms won’t last forever. In general, they’ll last between two to nine days and they’ll be at their worst 20 to 51 hours after you’ve had your last sip of coffee.
The more caffeine you’re used to having, the more symptoms you’ll experience and the more severe these symptoms will be, however.
You can find out more about how long caffeine withdrawal lasts here, as well as other ways to manage them.
You could argue that any amount of caffeine is too much if it’s impacting your sleep. But, you don’t need to give it up altogether if that’s the case for you. Here’s how to enjoy coffee and sleep easy each night.
Caffeine can last in your system for more than 12 hours. So, even if you only consume 400 mg or less, if you’re having it too late in the day, you may still have trouble falling asleep.
Stop this from happening by finding out your caffeine cutoff time. This is the time of day you need to stop consuming caffeine to give your body enough time to break it all down by bedtime.
The RISE app can give you an exact time based on your circadian rhythm, or body clock, each day. Enjoy caffeinated beverages up until this time, then switch to caffeine-free drinks like herbal teas in the afternoon and evening.
You can learn more about when you should stop drinking coffee here.
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to set up their limit caffeine reminder.
Watch out for hidden caffeine after your caffeine cutoff time and when working out how much caffeine you have a day. Beyond the obvious lattes and espressos, you’ll find caffeine in things like chocolate, kola nuts, black and green tea, and even decaffeinated coffee.
It’s easy to think you’re consuming less caffeine than you actually are. Research shows self-reported caffeine intake is often below actual levels.
Beyond caffeine, other things can keep you up at night. To stop this from happening, focus on your sleep hygiene, the set of daily behaviors that help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night.
Avoid late-night bright light, exercise, large meals, and alcohol. You may find cutting down on caffeine helps in part, but one of these four things still keeps you awake or wakes you up during the night.
The RISE app can tell you when to avoid each one. Plus, the app can guide you through 20+ sleep hygiene habits to make sure nothing else gets in the way of a good night’s sleep.
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to set up their 20+ in-app habit notifications.
We’ve covered more common sleep and caffeine questions here.
You don’t need to rely on coffee consumption to get you through the day. Here’s how to boost your energy levels, without going over the recommended daily caffeine limit.
Sleep debt is the running total of how much sleep you owe your body measured against your sleep need, the genetically determined amount of sleep you need each night.
The RISE app can work out your individual sleep need and how much sleep debt you’re carrying. We measure it over your last 14 nights.
When your sleep debt is high, you’ll inevitably feel low on energy throughout the day, making it harder to resist drinking more and more coffee.
We recommend keeping sleep debt below five hours to maximize your energy levels. If your sleep debt is high, you can pay it down by:
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to view their sleep need.
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to view their sleep debt.
Your circadian rhythm is your internal biological clock that runs on a roughly 24-hour cycle. It dictates things like your sleep-wake cycle and when your body produces certain hormones.
When you’re not living in sync with it, you’ll feel low on energy, have trouble sleeping, and you’ll be increasing your risk of everything from heart disease to obesity.
You can live in sync with your circadian rhythm by:
RISE can predict the timing of your circadian rhythm each day, so you can schedule your sleep, wake, and meal times to match.
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen.
While low sleep debt and living in sync with your circadian rhythm are the best ways to boost your energy long term, there are things you can do for a quick pick-me-up that don’t involve a cup of coffee.
We covered more ways to wake yourself up here. Connect RISE to your calendar and the app can tell you the best time for an energy boost like taking a nap or getting some exercise.
RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can click here to connect their calendar.
Caffeine can be beneficial for your health and well-being, but more does not equal better.
When you’re feeling tired, it’s all too easy to grab another cup of coffee. But, consuming too much caffeine, or having it too late in the day, can keep you up at night. This leads to more tiredness the next day, and — you guessed it — more coffee the next day, too.
While 400 mg is the usual recommended daily limit for caffeine, you shouldn’t be relying on it to get you through the day, but you don’t need to cut it out altogether.
To stop caffeine from impacting your sleep, check the RISE app for your individual caffeine cutoff time each day and limit your caffeine intake after this.
The app can also help you boost your energy levels without turning to coffee. RISE will work out and keep track of your sleep debt and predict circadian rhythm each day, so you can sync up with it. This way, you can maximize your energy levels, all without worrying about how much caffeine you’re consuming each day.
Yes, 1000 mg of caffeine is too much in one day. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to 400 mg of caffeine per day. 1000 mg of caffeine in a day can lead to side effects like anxiety, jitters, headaches, and trouble falling asleep.
Yes, 600 mg of caffeine is too much in one day. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to 400 mg of caffeine per day. 600 mg of caffeine in a day can lead to side effects like anxiety, jitters, headaches, and trouble falling asleep.
Yes, 500 mg of caffeine is too much in one day. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to 400 mg of caffeine per day. 500 mg of caffeine in a day can lead to side effects like anxiety, jitters, headaches, and trouble falling asleep.
It’s generally recommended to keep daily caffeine consumption to 400 mg a day. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or consume it late in the day, you may need to limit yourself to even less. Use the RISE app to find your caffeine cutoff time to make sure caffeine doesn’t get in the way of you falling asleep at night.
RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential
RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential