How Much Caffeine Is the Right Amount of Caffeine?

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Are you drinking coffee right now? Were you drinking coffee earlier this morning? Will you be drinking coffee later today? The average American drinks 2.1 cups of coffee per day, and that number increases with age. But a question usually remains; how much coffee is really OK to drink on the daily?

A new study, which analyzed 380 studies gathered between 2001 and 2015, provides happy news for the caffeine addicted among us — 400 milligrams of coffee per day (or 300 if you're pregnant) is totally fine. The FDA had previously said that 400 milligrams was the the upper tippy top limit, but the analysis of all this research shows that 400 is fine. The study looked at "coffee, tea, chocolate, cola-type beverages, energy drinks, supplements, medicines, energy shots, caffeinated chewing gum, caffeinated sport gel, and caffeinated sport bars" analyzing the adverse effects of consumption with respect to behavioral problems, bone, heart, and reproductive health. And yeah, 400 milligrams seems to be it.

For reference, 400 milligrams is roughly the amount in four regular cups of coffee. Or as New York Magazine so helpfully put it, "the average American consumes about 165 milligrams of caffeine per day. For reference, that's a little more than what you'd get from a small coffee at Dunkin' Donuts, just over two-thirds of a Starbucks tall, or about three and a half 12-ounce Diet Cokes." That said, we can't recommend drinking five Diet Cokes in a day but, technically, it would be OK.

The research also verifies something we've long known but often ignore: Caffeine can have adverse effects on both sleep and anxiety. So if either of those things is an affliction for you, don't indulge in all 400 milligrams. Of course, caffeine (like alcohol) hits all of us differently so pay attention to how your body reacts.

All that said though, it seems that we can have more caffeine than previously thought and still be totally healthy. So go ahead, have another cup.