The effects of coffee on our body depend on the botanical species used to prepare it (Arabica, Robusta or a blend of them), and how we like to have it (espresso, ristretto, lungo, americano, macchiato, etc.).
The most well-known component of coffee is definitely caffeine, a stimulant to the nervous system that is actually responsible for most of the side effects, although each of us reacts in a different way.
The amount of coffee we can drink refers to the amount of caffeine it contains.
When it is too much, it can cause heart rate changes, increased gastric secretion with possible mucosal irritations and severe blood pressure elevations.
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How much Caffeine can we Tolerate?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy, non-hypertensive person who follows a balanced diet can consume 4-5 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight per day.
In pregnant women, this limit should be reduced to 3 mg caffeine per kg per day of pre-pregnancy weight.
In children, finally, the consumption of caffeine should be further reduced and must remain below 2 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight per day.
Be careful, though!
Caffeine is not only contained in coffee, and we must take into account all the drinks, foods and meds we could find it, to measure how much we take each day.
This is especially true for children, for which chocolate and cola-based drinks can be frequent, containing discrete amounts of caffeine.
How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Coffee?
The table shows the average caffeine content in different types of coffee and foods.
|FOOD OR DRINK||CAFFEINE CONTENT (per cup)|
|Espresso or Moka||40 to 100 mg|
|Instant Coffee||65-100 mg|
|Decaf Instant Coffee||<5 mg|
|Cola-based Drinks||35-50 mg|
You can find more about caffeine content in food and beverages in our Caffeine DB.
How many Cups of Coffee can we Drink?
The caffeine content in a cup of coffee depends on many factors: the amount of powder, the type of blend used (the Robusta species contains, for example, most caffeine than Arabica), and the preparation mode (Moka, Espresso, etc..).
Here are some examples to give an idea of the magnitude of these differences:
- a small pure Arabica espresso may contain about 40 mg of caffeine.
- a long espresso with an Arabica / Robusta mixture can reach 100 mg of caffeine.
In soluble or American coffee everything depends on how much powder we will use and how much the final infusion will be concentrated.
So, let’s sum up:
Coffee does not Cancel the Effects of Alcohol!
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system. It gives an “energy” spurt, accelerating reflections and increasing vigilance.
Be careful, however!
Neither the coffee nor the caffeine-based energy drinks can cancel the effects of alcohol on the nervous system.
So, it is useless to drink coffee or Red Bull in the hope of being able to drive after drinking too much.
Up to You!
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