A great way to keep yourself awake in the morning would have to be coffee. But you might be surprised to know that it isn't actually coffee that keeps you alert and alive, but the caffeine inside it! Caffeine is a major component that helps you keep up with your work or school, but how much of it do you need? Furthermore, how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee anyway?
Read on as we show you everything you need to know about the amount of caffeine coffee has in a cup, as well as what caffeine can do for your overall health.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is one of the most common drugs. Yes, it's a drug that helps increase wakefulness and improve on concentration and focus.
Caffeine is found in teas and coffee, a natural stimulant that keeps you awake by activating the brain and central nervous system. It is also absorbed into the bloodstream, where it travels to the liver, breaking into compounds but affecting the brain the most.
It also blocks adenosine, a neurotransmitter that would relax the brain and have you feel fatigued. It only takes less than an hour to reach your bloodstream, and a bit over an hour to fully take effect in your whole body, especially the brain.
This stimulant has been dated back since 2,737 BC, then discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd. Caffeine has been used up to this day, with caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks hitting the market. Today, 80% of the world's population consume at least one caffeinated drink or food a day!
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine has a ton of benefits, and it isn't just to help keep you awake! Here are some other advantages taking in the right amount of caffeine has to offer
- Diuretic - Caffeine is known to be a natural diuretic, known to help encourage your digestion and excretion. It also helps lower liver enzymes and protects your liver.
- Balances Mood - Studies show that those who drink coffee are 20% less likely to suffer from depression. Because it stimulates your brain, you feel more energetic and happier, with your mood stabilized.
- Reduced Risk of Diseases - Besides it helping you wake up, taking caffeine is known to help lessen the risk of certain diseases, centered around the heart. It can also help prevent Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as Type 2 Diabetes.
Side Effects of Caffeine
But of course, you will need to watch your caffeine intake as well! While drinking coffee and taking in caffeine is known to reap good benefits, there are some consequences if you consume too much of it.
Here are some side effects that come when taking in too much coffee or caffeine
- Jitters and shakes
- Bad sleep
- Palpitations or uneven heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Headaches and nausea
- Dependency on caffeine
- Dehydration (since it is a diuretic)
- Heartburn or upset stomach (as it releases acid in the stomach)
How Much Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee?
Now that you know what caffeine can do for you, you might be wondering: How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?
Known as one of the most popular sources of caffeine, you might think that coffee has a huge amount of this stimulant that would keep you awake for hours.
BUT, this actually depends on various factors. While coffee has a certain amount of caffeine, there are different levels according to the type of coffee you're drinking.
In a regular brewed cup of coffee, you can find 95 mg of caffeine on average. The amount would range from 70-140 mg.
For espresso-based drinks, a shot of espresso would usually contain 63 mg of caffeine, with a double shot containing 125 mg! The type of espresso powder is also a factor as to how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso.
So for lattes and cappuccinos, depending on how many shots, will contain this amount of caffeine (milk holds no caffeine).
If you use instant coffee, which is powdered or dried, then a whole packet would contain far less than the usual original brew. A cup would have about 30-60 mg of caffeine.
Decaf, or decaffeinated, coffee is not similar to caffeine-free. It has a small amount of caffeine, usual about 1-7mg a cup, with the average being 3 mg.
It's best to brew your coffee using a quality espresso maker to measure the amount of caffeine on your normal brew accurately.
How Much Caffeine Should I Take a Day?
You learned about the amount of caffeine on the types of coffees you drink per day, but how much is too much coffee?
There is no exact amount one should or shouldn't take per day, as the symptoms vary by the individual. Based on studies, it is recommended that you take only up to 400mg a day, which is a safe upper limit for adults.
But again, some people can function better with more caffeine, or aren't able to take in over 300 mg. If you are wondering how much caffeine you should take, then test it out and slowly increase your intake until you reach 400 mg.
If you feel like you are experiencing a few symptoms due to caffeine, then lessen it immediately.
Your tolerance to caffeine may also be due to any conditions you suffer from. If you have anxiety, arrhythmia, diabetes, or any other medical condition, then consult your doctor before taking in any form of caffeine.
Coffee is one of the most important drinks that keep you energized and focused. Through its high caffeine content, you will be able to stay awake and ready for the daily grind. But you need to remember to take only the right amount of caffeine!
*Hopefully, this article answers your question: "how much caffeine in a cup of coffee?" Now, you know what you need to keep your energy levels up without suffering from any side effects that may come from overconsumption.