Your favourite cup of coffee keeps you going for the day! Majority of the people include coffee as it helps keep their mind stay alert and focused to perform better. But what if you become intolerant to caffeine? Read on to know how it happens and what can be done to overcome it.
“Caffeine” is a stimulant, responsible for keeping us alert and naturally found in beverages like coffee and tea. On the other hand, caffeine extract is added to energy drinks, sweetened beverages and even soda to provide similar effects.
Caffeine acts by releasing chemicals in your brain responsible for better mood, to combat fatigue, and enhance focus, especially during mid-afternoon crash. However, it’s been observed that caffeine’s stimulatory effects become less noticeable over time, that’s because your body becomes tolerant or less responsive to its effects. Why does this happen? It is because the adenosine receptors become less sensitive to caffeine with repeated exposure. Thus, this decrease in caffeine effect happens as you become more tolerant over a while. Therefore, it will have any impact on your exercise performance, mental alertness and performance.
So now, how to overcome intolerance?
Simply, by decreasing the amount of caffeine intake, consuming it less often than you normally do. Although you can also increase the number of cups you consume, it is not advisable as there is a safe level consumption of caffeine, which should not be crossed.
Initially, you may face caffeine withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, mood swings, tiredness, sleepiness etc. But with time, you will overcome intolerance as the symptoms will subdue.
How much caffeine is safe to consume?
Caffeine intake is associated with various health benefits, but overconsumption can raise some health concerns.
In India, lately, there has been no guideline on consumption intake for adolescents. However, for healthy adults, the maximum intake of caffeine should be 400 micrograms. On average, one cup of coffee will provide 100 mcg. So, limit yourself to not more than 3 cups a day. Pregnant women should consume less than 300 mg of caffeine.
Know the common foods which contain caffeine
- Tea - black, green
- Cola drinks
- Energy drinks
Foods which contain guarana extract/ Yerba mate
Does coffee have more caffeine or tea?
The amount of caffeine in tea or coffee varies significantly upon the type and method of preparation of the drink.
Tea leaves contain 3.5% caffeine, while coffee beans have 1.1 - 2.2% of it. However, after processing, coffee beans provide more caffeine, and one cup of coffee offers more caffeine than one cup of tea.
Coffee swaps - Caffeine-free
- Chicory Coffee
- Haldi Milk
- Herbal Teas
Sit back and relax! Enjoy your favourite cup of tea or coffee. It is safe to consume these beverages daily unless restricted due to any health concern. However, make sure not to exceed the safe level intake and be cautious of products which offer caffeine and adjust your intake accordingly.
- Reyes, C. M., & Cornelis, M. C. (2018). Caffeine in the Diet: Country-Level Consumption and Guidelines. Nutrients, 10(11), 1772. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111772
- Wikoff, D., Welsh, B. T., Henderson, R., Brorby, G. P., Britt, J., Myers, E., Goldberger, J., Lieberman, H. R., O'Brien, C., Peck, J., Tenenbein, M., Weaver, C., Harvey, S., Urban, J., & Doepker, C. (2017). Systematic review of the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption in healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 109(Pt 1), 585–648. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.04.002
- Nawrot, P., Jordan, S., Eastwood, J., Rotstein, J., Hugenholtz, A., & Feeley, M. (2003). Effects of caffeine on human health. Food additives and contaminants, 20(1), 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/0265203021000007840