cathryn ilani healthcare caffeine header

From tea to coffee to Coca-Cola, who doesn’t love caffeine? From its earliest origins in India and China to the ceremonial serenity of Japanese tea ceremonies to its rightful place as Britain’s beverage of choice, tea is a glorious mainstay for countless millions around the globe. Americans, meanwhile, perk up across The Pond to coffees of all kinds. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and the countless other sodas out there make for a refreshingly cold drink during those long summer months.

Still, too much of a good thing can start to become a problem. Sure, plenty of us crave a finely brewed pot of Earl Grey or need a Pick Me Up that comes from a fresh cup (or four) of coffee to wake up in the morning. Even so, the question remains – how much caffeine is too much?

That’s actually a more complex question than even the most ardent coffee lover might imagine. After all, while too much caffeine can be linked to migraines, it can also be used as a treatment for them.

So, how should we view our caffeine quandary?

Caffeine Is Caffeine

For starters, it’s worth noting that for our purposes, one type of caffeinated beverage is treated the same as another. We can argue all day whether coffee or tea is superior (though the answer’s clearly the latter) but for our purposes here, caffeine is caffeine. Whether it’s treating or provoking migraines, it’s the caffeine itself that’s in question, not the source.

Frequency Counts

One of the biggest determining factors in deciding whether that latest cup from Starbucks will ultimately prove friend or foe is the frequency with which you are downing them. A cup or two here and there should probably be fine. On the other hand, it should come as no surprise that downing several 12oz in rapid succession is the point at which caffeine consumption cups or cans of caffeinated beverages is the most common jittery headache-inducing point of no return.

Space out your caffeine consumption and try not to down an inordinate amount per day, and you’ll be able to get the best out of your caffeine cravings while dodging the worst side effects.