It’s the one thing that gets you through those early mornings and late nights. It pulls you through the sluggish afternoons and sparks a higher level of productivity. We’re talking about coffee, of course, the beverage that 58 percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink every day.
In order to enjoy their morning, afternoon or evening cup of Joe, Americans are shelling out an average of $1.38 per cup of brewed coffee. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? But when you figure people are drinking about 3.1 cups per day, that adds up. In fact, the U.S. spends approximately $40 billion on coffee each year.
The good news is, moderate coffee consumption may actually help reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. But while there’s an upside to drinking this beverage, there’s also a downside, especially when not consumed in moderation. Here’s why too much coffee might not be the best thing for you:
Sure, coffee can make you feel jittery, due to the stimulation of adrenaline hormones, but that’s not where it stops. That increased adrenaline combines with an elevated heart rate and heightened senses to create the feeling of anxiety, making it difficult to study.
While some like their coffee black, others prefer it with sugar, cream and even some flavored syrups. Those calorie-rich extras might be delicious, but they also mean more bad fats and calories in your diet.
Think coffee has no effect on the quality of your sleep? Think again. Coffee can remain in your system for up to 14 hours, decreasing the overall time you’re asleep and waking you up numerous times throughout the night. A cup of Joe also hinders the production of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Therefore, if you have a big test or presentation the next day, it’s best to avoid the beverage and get a good night’s sleep.
One too many cups of coffee can inhibit oxygen’s flow to your brain, harming the decision-making process. This means if you’re taking a test, you may not feel as sharp or think as clearly as you normally would.
So, how much coffee is too much? The Mayo Clinic recommends you stick to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which translates to about four cups. This way, you can still enjoy its taste without experiencing any of its adverse effects.