By James Braun
US Myprotein Writer
Most days, I don’t know what I’d do without my morning cup of coffee. As a college student, sleep is pretty hard to come by, and coffee is a great way to get in some caffeine to help get me through the day.
Now, that isn’t saying coffee is addictive, because it’s simply not. Abruptly eliminating coffee (or caffeine in general) for a day or two may cause some side effects such as headaches and fatigue, but research shows that caffeine just isn’t as addictive as people make it out to be.
This is especially true compared to actual drugs, such as alcohol and other street substances. So you don’t need to feel guilty about your morning cup of coffee and you won’t turn into a grouchy monster just because you go a day without some caffeine.
Now, let’s tackle how much we should drink a day and how much is too much?
The Benefits of Coffee
Did you know that coffee can help you live longer?
According to the study (referenced below), the people who drank more coffee generally lived longer than those who drank less or none, and drinking 4 to 5 cups a day lowered the risk of death by 12 percent in men and 16 percent in women!
Unfortunately, the research shows that 6 or more cups have no greater effect than 4 to 5. Another great advantage that really helps out us weightlifters is that caffeine also boosts performance. It can improve endurance, strength, and anaerobic performance, and has been shown to speed up fat loss due to more catecholamines in the blood.
Last but not least, coffee is a great source of antioxidants, and is apparently the most abundant source of antioxidants in the Western diet.
How Much Caffeine Per Cup of Coffee?
Most of caffeine’s benefits are seen between 200-400 mg per day, so it’s probably safe to say that you should have around four 8 ounce cups of coffee a day. It’s also smart to dial down on the coffee as the day goes on because too much around bedtime can cause sleep problems, and too little sleep can cause a lot of health issues.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
Despite all of the benefits of coffee, too much can be harmful. This study(6) shows an all cause mortality risk of heavy coffee drinkers, who drank far more than 32 ounces per day. So as mentioned before, try to limit yourself to below 32 ounces, or roughly four 8 ounce cups a day.
Coffee is great, and has a laundry list of health benefits to it. Another key point to mention here is that you probably shouldn’t be adding in a ton of sugar and high fat creamers to your coffee every day(although, they do taste great!). Try dialing down on all the extra added components to your coffee day by day, and eventually all you’ll really need is a packet of splenda or so in your morning Joe. Also, Walden Farms makes plenty of calorie free coffee creamers and you can also buy sugar-free syrups! Coffee doesn’t need to be bland, and you should still enjoy your morning coffee. Stay healthy, and get caffeinated!