Do you often find yourself relying on a cup of coffee in the morning to get you through the day, or maybe even two or three? While some people may argue several cups of coffee is harmful to the body, others tend to believe it has no impact on their health whatsoever.

So, how can you know just how much coffee is too much? The experts at House Call Doctor have put together the facts you need to know.

How much coffee is considered ‘okay’?

It is considered drinking 400 milligrams (or approximately four cups) of coffee each day is safe for most healthy adults. This is also the equivalent of 10 cans of Coca-Cola or two energy drinks. However, the caffeine content in each drink tends to vary and therefore, you should check the labels of soft drinks or energy drinks for the caffeine percentage.

This amount is only for healthy adults only – adolescents and children should limit their caffeine consumption.

It is also advised to avoid mixing caffeine with other substances, for instance alcoholic beverages.

Are there any side effects from drinking too much coffee?

Drinking more than four cups of coffee each day can lead to side effects including:

  • Insomnia
  • Migraines and/or headaches
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Upset stomach
  • Frequent urination
  • Fast heartbeat.

Are there times I shouldn’t drink coffee at all?

It is recommended to avoid drinking coffee if you are:

  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Breastfeeding
  • Highly sensitive to the effects of caffeine
  • Taking medication which may heighten the effects of caffeine.

If you would like further information on the limit of caffeine you can consume, consult with your regular doctor.

What are the ingredients in coffee?

When asked what the ingredients in coffee are, most people will instantly say caffeine but are unable to name many others.

Depending on the type of coffee you’re drinking, there are many other ingredients (particularly in packaged ground coffee). These can include:

  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Brown sugar
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Black beans
  • Acai seeds
  • Cocoa seeds.

According to a report presented by Brazilian researchers at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in 2014, having small amounts of these ingredients is usually harmless for the majority of people.

Thoughif you’re aware of any allergies or sensitivities you might have, you should avoid exposing yourself to triggers.

If you’re worried, authors behind the report recommend purchasing whole coffee beans as it’s easier to detect extraneous ingredients typically added in the packaging process (both intentionally and unintentionally) than ground coffee or instant coffee.

This is because the consistency of coffee grounds and instant coffee make it more difficult to detect added ingredients so manufacturers are less likely to be caught. Ingredients are often added to increase the product’s weight.