Maybe your behavior extends to a cup of espresso within the afternoon, or you’ve a soda along with your dinner.
And perhaps as a end result, you laid in mattress awake later pondering of the place you went incorrect as an alternative of getting wanted sleep.
Rob M. van Dam, a researcher in epidemiology and diet from the National University of Singapore, explains when to correctly devour caffeine, what qualifies as an excessive amount of and what to learn about why it impacts every of us in another way.
This interview has been condensed and edited for readability.
CNN: How do we all know when it is time to stop drinking espresso throughout the day so we are able to nonetheless get a good night’s sleep?
Rob van Dam: That appears like a easy query, however sadly there’s not one reply to it. And that is as a result of completely different folks react very in another way to caffeine.
If you are getting tremors, feeling all of a sudden nervous, or your coronary heart fee is altering, it might nicely be that you simply’re drinking an excessive amount of caffeine. And equally, it might intrude with a good night’s sleep.
You might want to say, “Well, let’s try to cut down caffeine and not drink it after a certain time in the afternoon and see if that improves my sleeping habits.” So it is actually one thing each particular person has to experiment with for themselves — how a lot caffeine they drink and after they drink it.
CNN: What components have an effect on how we react to caffeine?
Van Dam: Your life-style makes a distinction. For instance, individuals who smoke metabolize caffeine within the liver about twice as quick. If you are a smoker, doubtless you may drink caffeine up to a later time and nonetheless be OK when it comes to sleeping.
But there are different components, like in the event you use oral contraceptives as a lady, it takes twice as lengthy to metabolize caffeine. It could also be that you simply had been ready to drink caffeine within the night and nonetheless sleep nicely, and then you definately begin utilizing oral contraceptives and you might even see that you could’t sleep as nicely anymore.
Genetics additionally performs a function, since some folks have variants of their genetic code that impacts enzymes within the liver that metabolize and get rid of the caffeine. This could make you metabolize it slower or quicker, too.
CNN: How a lot caffeine is an excessive amount of?
Van Dam: In common, it is really useful by associations just like the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to hold caffeine at 400 milligrams per day or much less. If you take a look at a regular 8-ounce cup of espresso, that has about 100 milligrams of caffeine, so that may be up to 4 cups of espresso per day.
Another suggestion is to hold it to not more than 200 milligrams per sitting. Even although you could drink 4 cups a day, you don’t need to drink 4 cups in a single go — that will probably be an excessive amount of for the physique to metabolize, for most individuals at the very least.
CNN: Is caffeine for everybody?
Van Dam: Caffeine does actually decide you up a little bit and make you much more alert. So notably for folks with routine duties, it may be useful. For instance, in the event you should drive a lot at nighttime, or in the event you’re within the army and also you’re on responsibility to monitor, however nothing is basically occurring for hours on finish.
But not all people will want it. You could have sufficient vitality or get good sufficient sleep that you could undergo the day with none caffeine.
And there is no purpose to drink it if you don’t need to. Because even in the event you just like the style of espresso, you may all the time drink decaffeinated espresso, and there is nothing incorrect with that both.
CNN: Is caffeine secure?
Van Dam: Recently, folks have been very involved about caffeine in relation to most cancers danger, cardiovascular danger or different well being outcomes. And the analysis on that has truly been very reassuring. By now, espresso might be one of the studied drinks.
So, in the event you’re having fun with espresso, you are having fun with caffeine, and you may devour it moderately and you have no detrimental results — you do not actually have to fear an excessive amount of in regards to the well being results of espresso or caffeine.