Exactly How Much Caffeine You Should Consume Daily

Caffeine is an inevitable part of our daily lives, but how much is not too much?
Nursah Ergü

Waking up early in the morning can be pretty difficult and trying to focus on your work without a coffee is even more difficult. 

When you're an adult, it's not so easy to make time for everything in your life. Kids, social life, work, all the things you're trying to deal with becomes a huge mess and you don't know what to do anymore; so you go for a coffee because just by sleeping less you can make more time for pretty much of everything. 


But coffee isn't exactly your best friend. It can be sobering and healthy when it's consumed sufficiently, but it can cause some health problems when it's consumed a lot. 

Maximum 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe for adults. This almost equals to four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two energy shots. And drinking more than 4 cups of coffee can cause migraine, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness and much more. 

A study called "A Unified Model of Performance for Predicting the Effects of Sleep and Caffeine" which provides "the first mathematical model to predict human reaction-time performance across a wide range of sleep schedules and caffeine doses, under both laboratory and field conditions."

Exactly How Much Caffeine You Should Consume Daily
Source: cglade/iStock

Bill Murphy Jr. of Inc. spoke with Dr. Jaques Reifman of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Fort Detrick. He said, "This is leveraging 10 years of research on sleep deprivation. How do humans respond to continuous sleep deprivation of 60 hours? How is that different from when you sleep three hours a night for 10 days? ... What we're doing here now is to develop math equations that describe the phenomenon."

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In this research, 14 distinct combinations of sleep-loss and caffeine-dose conditions were used to forecast group-average performance. 

In the study, the amount of caffeine an average "sleep-deprived" person in different situations would have to consume to feel like they had eight hours of sleep. 

According to the research, 

  • If you get five hours of sleep a night, you should prefer two cups of weak coffee when you wake up and another two cups after four hours
  • If you get enough amount of sleep but you're working an overnight shift, drinking two cups of weak coffee right before your shift starts
  • If you're not going to sleep much for a day or two, you should drink 2 cups of coffee at midnight, 4 a.m., and 8 a.m.

Reifman says that you should be sure about not taking more caffeine than 400 milligrams at one time, the goal must be to get the maximum benefit from the caffeine. 

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