Do you find the thought of starting the day without a morning cup of anything caffeinated inconceivable? Many research studies have been conducted on the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption, which includes a good ol’ cup of joe. As it turns out, Starbucks does not need to be forgotten entirely as total elimination of caffeine does not necessarily equate to health. However, daily healthful dosages are different for every individual depending on their current health state, metabolism, smoking versus non-smoking habits, and medication use.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans found the average tolerable caffeine level of a healthy adult to be 500 milligrams, equating to three to five eight-ounce cup servings. However, it’s important to keep in mind that caffeine contents are highly variable depending on the brand or type of drink. Moderate consumption of caffeine has been shown to produce neuroprotective benefits, an increase in energy and an instigation of social interaction. Cons to higher caffeine consumption can include an increase in GI discomfort, withdrawal symptoms and sleep disruptions.
Considering lessening your overall caffeine intake? Here are a few helpful hints to allow you to ease into the process. Remember to start small. Do not completely expel caffeine if you are not mentally ready to do so. Begin by setting a clear and realistic goal specifically catered to you. Identify the reason behind your consumption. Knowing these potential barriers will allow for alternative ways to address the issue. Expect withdrawal symptoms and remind yourself of their temporary nature. Perhaps the most vital tool in reducing your consumption is consistency. Setting an exercise routine, sleep schedule, curfew and eating plan will help combat any potential feelings of fatigue.
Written by: Sam Heller, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern