It’s perfectly fine to have some caffeine in your diet -- as long as you’re generally healthy. But you shouldn’t go overboard. Too much caffeine can affect your heart rhythm, make you dizzy, give you a headache and make you dehydrated. In general, you should aim to keep your caffeine intake to less than 200 milligrams a day -- the amount in about two cups of regular coffee.
Caffeine in Coffee
The exact amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee will vary depending on how strong you make it, although you’ll typically get roughly 95 milligrams from an 8-ounce freshly brewed cup. If you make regular instant coffee, you’ll get over 60 milligrams of caffeine by stirring 2 teaspoons of instant coffee crystals into 8 ounces of piping hot water. On those days when you need that extra kick and order a shot of espresso to add to your coffee, you’ll pack in another 65 milligrams of caffeine from just 1 ounce of espresso. You’ll even get a small amount of caffeine from decaf coffee. One cup of decaf can have close to 10 milligrams of caffeine. While everyone is different and you may be able to handle more caffeine than some others, you should never have more than 600 milligrams in a day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medicines in My Home: Caffeine and Your Body
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Coffee, Brewed From Grounds, Prepared with Tap Water
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Coffee, Instant, Regular, Powder
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Coffee, Brewed, Espresso, Restaurant-Prepared