DeBlog: How Much Caffeine Do You Need?

Caffeine has never really affected me. I drink a fair amount of diet soda. I enjoy the taste of coffee, but I don’t feel like it gives me a jolt.

Good Question intern Kate Raddatz is different from me. In many ways, not just this one. At any rate — she needs your help for a blog post she’s working on. Kate writes:

“Like many of us, I need my daily dose of caffeine. For me, it’s all about the coffee. Honestly I can’t remember a day in the last five years where I didn’t get in at least a cup a day. At my worst I drank coffee like it was water, up to 10 cups a day. (In my defense it makes it a little harder when you’ve been working in a coffee shop for eight years.)

Caffeine obviously isn’t limited to coffee. We may not think twice about grabbing an extra Diet Coke or candy bar to give us the jolt we need to get through the 3 p.m. slump. Before you know it we’re twitching on a caffeine overdose.

But how much caffeine is too much? Is some caffeine healthy? How much? What are the health effects of having too much caffeine? That’s the Good Question I’ll be looking into this week.

So tell me about your caffeine addictions if you have them! What are they? How do you feel when you have too little caffeine or too much? Post in the comments section below!”

More from Jason DeRusha
  • Gordon Bellaver

    To best answer this question, I would need to know what do you consider a “cup of coffee”? Are we talking a 64oz Big Gulp, or a 8 oz latte?

    I’ve worked in coffee for over 6 years now, and one of there are two common misconceptions about coffee that are directly related to caffeine. Misconception #1 1) Brewed coffee has more caffeine than espresso. If you order an 8 oz cup of coffee, or an 8 oz latte, there is actually more caffeine in the coffee than the latte. Were you to order 8 oz of espresso alone, that would have significantly more caffeine than the brewed coffee. Misconception #2) Dark roasts have more caffeine. This is 100% backwards. When a coffee is roasted darker, the caffeine is actually being roasted out of the coffee. If you want the most caffeinated beverage, you want the lighter roast.

    Caffeine, to me, is like alcohol: best in moderation. Too much makes me feel weird. If I don’t have a coffee by noon I usually have a splitting headache, which is easily remedied by a pop if I can’t get to a coffee shop. Caffeine has been studied to be good a bad for you, but I have read that the best caffeine comes from Green Tea. It is more powerful than coffee, and because green tea is full of antioxidants and healthy stuff, it beats out coffee. But I never really want to drink a cup of green tea everyday. I’m a cappuccino man, and I hope to stay that way.

    • Kate

      I was referring to cups of actual coffee (6-8 oz), not espresso. As for the caffeine in different roasts, that’s why I always pick light!

  • Natalie Hagemo

    As with my rule of thumb for alcohol, if drinking (caffeine, alcohol) is causing problems in your life, you have a drinking problem.

  • self made victims

    I always go for the dark roasts – for flavor, not for the buzz. If I could get good flavor from a decaf, I would drink that. I don’t drink enough coffee to get goofy, but I love my java.

  • Jackie N

    I went through a stint during college where I worked at a local coffee shop. Getting up at 4:30 am to open, then class, then working a second PT job till 9 pm was only possible on several cups of coffee every day. I drank it like water, I smelled like it and I was definitely addicted to it. It almost became a security blanket…I had to have it with me. Always.

    That phase is over…thank goodness…but I would say that even though i honestly do LOVE the taste of fresh, brewed, black coffee…i think i am just as much in love with the idea of it. I can go a whole day without it. I physically won’t be bothered or get a headache. But psychologically, I want it. And I feel disappointed when I don’t have it. If that makes me addicted…then…fine.

    As for how much is too much? When you feel like you’re going to throw up — you’ve had to much.

  • Sara Huffman

    its too much when you begin to rely on it to keep you alert.. in my opinion coffee is just part of my daily rutine. to grab a cup of coffee is just one of those things i do in the morning. like bushing my teeth. ive known people that drink continuously throughout the day, just because its avalible…or there addicted. i belive energy drinks are poisen, nasty stuff.

  • Mack Morris

    Just wanna say I don’t often drink caffeine, but when I do, it is usually in the form of soda. I’d also be a fool not to admit to my love for candy bars and most of all sugar (in small doses). However, now that I get up at 3 two days a week, I have to have caffeine in the morning or I won’t make it. Caffeine usually gives me a jolt, but it never truly satisfies my need to be alert in the mornings! I have never actually drank coffee, which is something I am proud to say!

  • jim

    diet soda is the same as regular, since it has aspertame. I might not effect people as much

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