When your very first thought after your alarm goes off is "I need coffee five minutes ago," you probably already know you're on the verge of a pretty serious addiction to caffeine. There are definitely benefits to sipping one cup a day — it improves memory, it keeps you regular, and the antioxidants can help fight disease — but if your one cup is more like a 24-ounce Big Gulp, that much caffeine can cause some harm.
Just how much caffeine is too much? The limit for the average person is 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. The average eight-ounce cup of coffee has almost 100 milligrams, but if you go for a 16-ounce Starbucks Grande, you're looking at 330 milligrams. A 12-ounce can of cola offers 35 milligrams of caffeine, Mountain Dew has 55 milligrams, and Red Bull and Rockstar each have about 80 milligrams.
Why is too much caffeine bad? Aside from caffeine jitters, if you consume more than 500 milligrams every day, it can induce anxiety, insomnia, and muscle tremors and can even lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, headaches, or digestion issues.
Caffeine, like any drug, will cause unbearable withdrawal symptoms such as intense cravings, headaches, irritability, depression, and anxiety. Here are six ways to make cutting down or giving up caffeine a little less painful.