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The Truckee Times

Big News, Small Town

The Truckee Times

The Student News Site of Truckee High School

The Truckee Times


Big News, Small Town

How Much Caffeine should you Consume?

Riley’s Retirement Corner

Don’t talk to me until I have had my morning coffee. Caffeine is essential for many people around the world and is consumed in many different ways. Just like anything else too much of a good thing can be bad for you and there are a few things you should know about caffeine to have it be a tool in your life, not a burden. 

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, chocolate, and many other natural as well as manufactured sources. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, which can lead to increased alertness and reduced fatigue. In moderate amounts, it can enhance cognitive function and even improve mood. However, consuming too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects. 

The 4 main side effects are insomnia, anxiety, digestive issues, and dependence on caffeine. Caffeine keeps the brain awake and should not be consumed within 8 hours of going to bed as it can lower your sleep quality or together make it hard to fall asleep. High doses of caffeine can increase anxiety levels and contribute to feelings of nervousness or jitteriness.  Caffeine is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration if not balanced with adequate water intake. It can also cause stomach upset or acid reflux in some individuals. Regular, high consumption of caffeine can lead to dependence, causing withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritability when not consumed. Not all side effects will affect everyone but if you regularly consume caffeine understanding the symptoms will help you better utilize caffeine.

Along with negative side effects, there are also several positive effects of caffeine. Increased cognitive function, increased alertness, improved memory, improved physical performance, mood enhancement, increased metabolism, and even in some cases pain relief.

The FDA recommends a maximum daily caffeine intake of 400 milligrams for most adults, equivalent to about four 8-ounce cups of brewed coffee. Different bodies will react differently so be sure to adjust your intake as you feel different effects.  As you consume caffeine more often you will feel the positive effects less and begin to feel more negative effects with a larger intake. 

Some tips for maximizing your caffeine intake to best take advantage of the positive effects are to spread out your caffeine throughout the day, stay hydrated, know your personal limits, reduce the use of caffeine 8 hours before bedtime, and have a balanced diet. Another way to improve your experience with caffeine is to take breaks and go on a caffeine detox, this is especially helpful for people consuming large amounts of caffeine meaning anything above 300 mg a day. A caffeine detox should be anywhere from 1-4 weeks of no caffeine and once you return to using caffeine slowly work your way up with doses and start around 100-200 mg a day

Some groups that should be especially careful with caffeine consumption are children under the age of 14, pregnant women, and individuals with health conditions such as heart problems or anxiety. 

In conclusion, caffeine is an amazing tool and can improve your quality of life and productivity, but can have negative effects that will lessen its value in your life. Consider your dosages, personal circumstances, and needs to use the perfect amount of caffeine. 

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About the Contributor
Riley Boyd, Staff Reporter
Riley is currently a senior, it his first year on staff. He is a student athlete and reports on sports.

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