Keeping an eye on your caffeine intake
Do you know how much caffeine you have had in a typical day? It’s a good idea to keep track of how much caffeine you’re consuming, especially if you need to limit your intake, but reading labels won’t always give the full picture. But limiting or ending your caffeine intake may be advisable if:
- You’re pregnant. Studies showing a relationship between caffeine intake in pregnant women and its effects on the foetus including reduced birth weight, pre-term birth or stillbirth have resulted in the recommendation that pregnant women limit their daily consumption to 200mg per day.
- You’re young. Caffeine increases anxiety levels in children at doses of 95mg and can disrupt sleep patterns, and what is a moderate to high dose of caffeine for children and adolescents (100-400mg) can see them become increasingly nervous, jittery and fidgety. Energy drinks have been a particular source of public concern because of their high caffeine content combined with their edgy marketing that has obvious teen appeal.
3. You’re taking certain medications or supplements. Some medications and herbal supplements may interact with caffeine. For example, the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin may increase the stimulatory effects of caffeine. And the combination of caffeine and fellow stimulant bitter orange, found in a number of weight loss and sports supplements, can increase your blood pressure.
4. You’re a heavy caffeine consumer. Heavy daily caffeine intake – more than 600mg a day – can lead to some unpleasant effects including insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, stomach upset, fast heartbeat and muscle tremors. People with a 10-cup a day coffee habit undoubtedly fall into this category. But you may be unwittingly consuming this amount of caffeine from as little as two coffees, depending on how and where the coffee is made.
5. You’re sleep deprived. Caffeine can interfere with much-needed sleep by making it harder to nod off and shortening the time you do sleep. If you then drink caffeinated beverages during the day because you have trouble staying awake it can create a cycle of poor sleep.
3.Even a little makes you jittery. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you’re susceptible to the effects of caffeine, just small amounts – even one cup of coffee or tea – may prompt unwanted effects, such as restlessness and sleep problems. People who don’t regularly drink caffeine tend to be more sensitive to its negative effects.