The Ultimate Guide to Caffeine

90% of Americans consume caffeine daily, and eight out of ten drink coffee. (100% of lego men drink coffee).

If you spend all day at a desk job, I’m going to guess you make a few trips to the break room for a cup of joe every day to stay get through the day.  Is this okay? Or should caffeine should be avoided?  

Caffeine, like the Master Sword or Mario’s star power, can be a great tool when used properly to help you slay your next dragon.

However, caffeine is kind of like getting a green shell in Mario Kart - it’s readily available, can certainly help you win, but has to be used properly or it can end up doing more harm than good.

Fortunately for you, we’ve done all the research so you don’t have to.

Today, you will learn how to properly wield the power of caffeine!

(cue the Zelda treasure box opening music)
 

How caffeine works

SuperBrain Caffine Fly

Meet Superbrain. Superbrain can do amazing things like help us become a productivity ninjamaster habit changerun longerand lift heavier.

However, as we work all day long, a chemical called adenosine builds up and binds to receptors in our brains, and we get tired.  Adenosine is Superbrain’s personal Kryptonite. See exhibit B (below)

SuperBrain Kryptonite Caffeine

Fortunately, this is normally where Superbrain’s pal caffeine saves the day. Caffeine blocks the adenosine from binding to receptors, and Superbrain is free from any groggy and debilitating effects. Essentially, it’s like encasing adenosine in a lead, kryptonite-proof box.

SuperBrain LeadBox Caffeine

But wait! There’s more.

Now that the bad stuff is blocked from slowing down your brain, your neurons start firing faster, freeing up your brain to work overtime. Now that your brain is working extra hard, it thinks something REALLY important must be going on outside…so it releases adrenaline and dopamine.

These two chemicals can help Superbrain dominate, including kicking the crap out of this ferocious T-rex.

SuperBrain Trex Fight

Coffee, Tea, and Calories

Let’s say you just finished a one-mile run, and burning roughly around 100 calories. So you decide to reward yourself for being healthy by popping into your into Starbucks and grab your favorite orange mochafrappachino. Unfortunately, you just consumed 500 calories after burning only 100….which means after pushing hard to run a mile and then sipping on a cool drink, you’re now 400 calories worse off than if you had decided to just sit on the couch and skip the drink.

SUCK!

Now, while undoubtedly delicious, a few smarter drink choices can dramatically improve your progress.

Take a look at this chart below tracking calories vs caffeine (click for larger view):

Be aware of your caffeinated drink choices – Stick to black coffee, espresso, or tea (especially green!) if weight loss is your primary goal. You may even notice that caffeine from an espresso shot hits your body differently than with an equivalent amount of tea or black coffee.

Know what you are drinking - A few hundred calories of espresso and milk is very different than chocolate syrup and flavoring.  Not all calories are created equal.

If you plan to wield caffeine like the Hammer of Thor, you need to have a rough understanding of the calories and caffeine in each drink. If you opt for a fancier coffee drink, you need to know what you are drinking or you could end up sipping on a 500+ calorie beverage.

Now that you’re avoiding the Triple Chocolate Whip Cream Frappuccino, let’s talk about how much caffeine you should drink!

How much caffeine is the right amount?

Roasted coffee bean in palm of hand

If used properly, caffeine can help you muster the motivation to never miss a workout, energize your routine, and kick-start your metabolism.

When used improperly, a caffeine addiction can drag down your energy levels all day, and you’ll end up consuming more calories than you burned.

So let’s figure out the correct amount.  The average American consumes around 250 mg of caffeine per day. That’s about two small cups of coffee, or 3 (.33, repeating of course) shots of espresso. Note: The average cup of coffee can vary GREATLY in caffeine content. Some coffee shops may be brewing coffee at 100 mg per cup, while others…cough, Starbucks…can exceed 300 mgs per cup. Check out EnergyFiend for details.

To get the best of both worlds, you want to consume as little caffeine as possible, while still receiving the benefits of the caffeine boost. You don’t need to drink an extra large coffee to get the benefits of caffeine. Especially if you haven’t yet built up a tolerance, you’ll be able to get a full boost from a very small amount.

  • On the low end, take your body weight (in pounds) and divide by two. Drink that number in mgs of caffeine. If you live elsewhere, consume 1 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight.
  • On the high end, take that number and multiply by 5. You should never need to exceed this amount in a single day. If you do, you will probably experience diminishing returns. Or worse, the coffee could be negatively affecting you, causing things like restlessness, irritability, sleep problems, or an upset stomach.

Start on the low end, and work your way up until you notice that caffeine boost. If you are wired with a single small cup of coffee, stop. When you opt for the extra large unnecessarily, you train your body to need an extra large.

Weight and body composition aside, caffeine affects everyone differently. Listen to your body, and learn from it.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Caffeine and Working Out

Lego Lifting Dumbbell

You name it, caffeine can potentially improve it: endurance, strength, concentration, creativity…even your metabolism. Caffeine can be like real-world NZT. It works both physically and psychologically, though everybody reacts to it differently.

  • In one study, subjects who consumed coffee performed significantly better when performing the deadlift, bench press, and squat.
  • If cycling or running is your thing, another study found caffeine improved endurance.
  • It even has been shown to reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

In fact, 3 out of 4 Olympic athletes have caffeine before their competitions.

Our advice, try it out. If it works for you, run with it…but don’t use it all day, every day, or you’ll stop seeing its effects. If not used in moderation, it can become just another hurdle.

Here are some tips to optimize get the most of out caffeine as a workout tool:

  • Work out about an hour after consuming caffeine: Although caffeine has a half-life of about five hours, you’ll likely notice a drop in energy before then.
  • Drink plenty of water: Caffeine works best when your body is fully hydrated and prepared for a jolt. Make sure you’ve had plenty of water before you drink that coffee to ensure you receive the best kick.
  • Use caffeine more sparingly: Instead of using it as a regular crutch, try using it only when needed. When you’re having a rough morning or you know you’ve been stalling in your workouts, activate your secret power-up to push forward and level up.
  • Eat something substantial: If you’ve ever gotten a weird reaction when drinking coffee (first try consuming less), eat something substantial before you pop by the café.

Addiction

Passed out on table with coffee mug

Whether we’re talking about World of Warcraft, Minecraft, alcohol, or coffee, addiction can be crippling (note: addictions to Nerd Fitness are okay).  As you progress as a coffee drinker and outpace your tolerance, you may feel inclined to drink slightly more each week to keep up that buzz.

When dealing with this dilemma, you have a few options:

Maintain a steady routine: Don’t increase the size or the amount of cups you drink each week. Instead, simply maintain a moderate amount of caffeine consumption, such as a small cup of coffee in the morning, or a cup of tea twice a day. This keeps your addiction in check, and once you develop the habit, it’s an easy thing to stick to. If you enjoy tea and coffee as beverages (not because you NEED the caffeine), this option is tough to beat. The drawback? As you get used to the amount of caffeine, you won’t receive nearly the same benefit as you did initially.

Don’t consume caffeine regularly: Don’t let your body establish a tolerance. Try only consuming caffeine once or twice a week when you need it most. You’ll certainly get a much bigger kick when you DO decide use that power-up. The drawback? You don’t get to drink coffee or tea regularly :)

Push the Reset Button: Start with a very moderate amount of caffeine (a cup of tea), and increase every other week or month, as you require more caffeine to get the same kick. Once you reach your tipping point (ideally BEFORE you’re drinking coffee like water), reset your caffeine tolerance and start over. Fortunately, it only takes seven days for your caffeine tolerance to completely reset. How?

  • Go cold turkey: Tough out a few mornings of moderate headaches, and in only a week you’ll be back to enjoying caffeine like you’ve never had it before! Depending on how much you’re drinking, this can be fairly easy or incredibly difficult.
  • The two-week reset: Say you’re drinking 600 mgs of caffeine (three 200 mg cups of coffee). On day 1, have only two cups. On day 7, cut to only one. At the end of the two weeks cut to only a cup of tea, or go without caffeine completely.
  • The sloowww recovery: If you’re drinking several large cups of coffee a day, you may need to resort to the slow recovery. Don’t cut anything too drastic at once, as you may be in store for some unbearable and unproductive days. Instead, cut very slowly. Not a cup at a time, but maybe order that last coffee as a medium, not a large. Slow and steady. This may be the only option for those of you who are dependent on coffee, or can’t afford to have a few days of sluggishness and discomfort.

If you’re running a race or competing in any fitness event, I recommend you reset your tolerance at least partly beforehand. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers with a very high tolerance received less of a single use benefit than those who were not regularly jacked up on the java juice.

No matter which route you take, simply being aware of your caffeinated decisions can go a long way.

What about energy drinks?

Ahhhh, yes…the 6000 pound elephant (with wings) in the room: energy drinks!

Sure, Red Bull is a hell of a marketer.  In fact, I happen to LOVE Redbull’s marketing, because they produce incredibly inspirational videos that make you want to run through brick walls.

Other than Red Bull, we have Monster Energy, N-OS Energy, 5-Hour Energy, crack cocaine (kidding), and more.  Are these drinks good or bad for you?

In this nerd’s humble opinion, I’d say they’re not worth the hassle:

  • They aren’t regulated by the FDA, which means they tend to have an excessive amount of caffeine.
  • They tend to have way too much sugar and other chemicals and additives.  Sugar is the enemy, and these drinks have a tremendous amount of it.
  • Beverages like 5-Hour Energy are essentially shots of caffeine that can be consumed in one gulp.  For the unsuspecting, this can lead to over-consumption and addiction.  On top of that, 5-Hour Energy has been linked to some not so great press lately.

Again, if you need your caffeine, we recommend getting it from coffee, espresso, or green tea.  If you ARE going to consume these drinks, go with the sugar-free versions that don’t have aspartame (which is in both Diet Coke and Diet Red Bull).  And please don’t mix energy drinks and alcohol – that really messes with your heart and brain.  Make better decisions when out drinking.

Susan Lacke over at No Meat Athlete has a fantastic write-up on energy drinks that’s worth the read.

Get wired and level up

 Get out there, grab a cup of joe, and keep leveling up!

As you begin to master your routine and caffeine, try some of these advanced tricks:

  • Take a caffeine nap.
  • Invest in a coffee maker can be set to automatically brew coffee as you wake up.
  • Save extra coffee or espresso from the day before in the fridge, and make iced coffee the next day.
  • Skip the coffee shop. There’s no need to spent $5 every day on coffee, even if you prefer espresso over black coffee. For under $30, pick up a stovetop espresso maker such as this one (aff. link), or if you really want to geek out about your coffee, experiment with the Aero Press (aff. link).

What’s your caffeine routine?

What other tricks do you have to share with the Rebellion?

-Taylor

PS from Steve – Congrats to Tim Ferriss for putting out his latest masterpiece today, The Four Hour Chef (aff. link)! I have the book in my hands right now (seriously, I’m holding the book in one hand while typing with the other) and it’s MASSIVE – over 600 pages and full of high-quality photos and recipes and stories.  It’s a book about cooking for people who hate to cook or don’t know how.  Sound like anybody you know? Hmmm?

###

photo source: red bull, lego coffee, lego man and coffee

Get The Rebel Starter Kit

Enter your email and we’ll send it right over.

  • The 15 mistakes you don’t want to make.
  • The most effective diet and why it works.
  • Complete your first workout today, no gym required.
  • These are the tools you need to start your quest.
  • Katelin

    now i have stronger by kanye west stuck in my head

  • JoRocka

    kanye? please- Daft Punk all night long!!!!

    God I needed to read this today- THANK YOU. My 2-3 cup a day has morphed into an all day every 1.5 hours habit since I started my desk job. I’m holding stead on healthy eating and working out- but the coffee has gone up by leaps and bounds. (thankfully I’m a black coffee mogul) But definitely time to start setting boundaries!

  • Paul Williams

    I can attest to gradually weaning yourself off caffeine (and sugar). I was drinking several large glasses of sweet tea every day and decided I wanted to stop and drink more water. So I started by just replacing one glass a day for a week or so…then two glasses…then three…until I stopped altogether. No headaches or anything.

    For the sugar aspect, I started by drinking some fruit juice mixed with water when substituting for my sweet tea. I gradually increased the amount of water over time until it was too disgusting to drink (it gets pretty nasty tasting). Then I just went straight water.

    Just a couple tips and a testimonial for people who want to do the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maggierimnac Maggie Rimnac

    I knew what the orange mocha frappuchino link was before i even hovered over it… just saying. ;) thanks for the article, i’m usually a black americano kinda girl but good to know the limits of how much per day etc!!

  • shintalmo

    Wondering what your thoughts are on products like Advocare’s Spark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=39705361 Dima Zemsky

    I used to use Jack3d for as my pre-workout supplement. Now it is a home-brewed espresso with some grapefruit juice. And the caffeine naps do work wonders for me but not necessarily work every time.

  • http://twitter.com/studenomics MD

    Ah yes about time caffeine is covered on here! The trick to caffeine is realizing that you don’t NEED it, but that it can be helpful. My routine is simple. I have a cup of coffee in the afternoon while blogging or before a workout. I didn’t have a cup the other day prior to working out, but I generally prefer a cup before a session.

    The other note on caffeine that I enjoyed in here is that you mentioned drinking water. This is very true. Caffeine can dehydrate your badly if you’re not drinking water.

    Oh and energy drinks — those things are so tempting. The problem is that they are usually ALL sugar, thus killing the purpose of your workout.

  • FaceAK

    I love coffee, not for the caffeine kick but simply for the taste and comfort (something nice about that hot, full-bodied beverage on these cold Alaska winter days!). I do limit myself to one or two cups per day, and usually don’t drink it past 3 pm or I’ll be up all night. I’ve also tried limiting coffee (or not having it at all) on the days I feel like I NEED it…I remember reading somewhere (MDA, perhaps) that drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages when you feel like you need it actually produces more stress hormones and cortisol. I really liked this post Steve, good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/harryclarke81 Harry Vincent Clarke

    Great post. Will use the info in the days to come.

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    I can attest to being “addicted” to caffein. I started drinking a cup of Joe 60 – 120 minutes before my workout. Problem is, is I workout at 7pm. I threw my sleep schedule off but the increased energy for the workout was nice. I just have to muster up the motivation and suck it up without the caffein at this time.

  • rachel

    I’ve been drinking caffeine lately but I was worried about health risks so I did some research and found that caffeine (and drinking milk) leeches calcium out of your bones. Trying HARD to cut down and just have energy the natural way. If I cut out carbs I don’t need caffeine AT ALL anyway!!!

  • Draco

    I had tracked everything I ate for three weeks a while back (trying to count calories). Out of curiosity, I just went back and counted the coffee I had recorded…. I averaged 6.5 cups, and had a high of 9 cups and a low of 4 1/2 cups. And this was while I was recording things, so I tended to have more moderation than usual. It might just be time to start cutting back….
    Thanks for the article – I think I needed it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sorwell Sol Orwell

    All the science you could ever want to know about caffeine: http://examine.com/supplements/Caffeine/

  • http://www.facebook.com/chatty826 Patty Wells

    I am one of those bulletproof coffee weirdos….love it and have it dail mmmmmmmmn

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512975098 Samantha Spencer

    How about decaff? I am british and tea is an instatution, but at work most of us have switched to decaff bags, sometimes we make a pot with the decaff bags, and no one has noticed yet! I love my tea breaks and with decaff bags and skimmed milk I hope its not too bad!

  • Courtnie Marie

    Cried a little when I found out that my “smart choice” of a half pump, nonfat, no whip, grande pumpkin latte was still packing in over 200 calories. My $0.10 / 8 calorie folgers cup will do just fine thanks :)

    Also, I discovered FRS (www.frs.com) at my local grocery one day and make sure to have one before my longer gym classes. Looks like it doesn’t have too much sugar and the caffeine in it only comes from green tea extract. Could be wrong though!

  • http://twitter.com/RealMenRealDads Josh Ray of RMRD

    Oh caffeine, sodas, and energy drinks. The bane of my existence! Great information that I am using as I start my goals list in the video game of my life!

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    That’s fine Samantha. Decaf and skim milk…nothing wrong with that. No need to give up on your tea breaks ;-).

  • Tea addict

    I’m also British and completely addicted to tea. After my first mug of the day when I treat myself to a splash of milk, I switch to black tea. So not many calories involved. But I can drink A LOT (4-8 large mugs a day) – is that dangerous? Recently I’ve been trying to switch to green / herbal tea in the afternoon but green tea is not that far away from black tea on the graph above – should I be weaning myself onto decaf?!?

  • HappyBrownGirl

    Thank you for this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1451960725 Rebekah Encke

    Finally! One area of NF that I don’t have to worry about. I’m very sensitive to caffeine, as well as the pesticides on commerically grown coffee beans, so I buy organic ones, and at that price (still cheaper than icky “Fivebucks”) I dont want to drink it everyday, so I save it for when I need a super pick me up or am really craving something sweet (and I make a latte with almond milk and truvia and/or a chocolate truvia syrup that I make myself) and I was trying to cut back even then…now I wont bother :D

  • http://www.sixpacksuccess.com/ Victor Dorfman

    Man…what a kick ass post with great graphics! :-) Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychotropic substance in the WORLD, so the more we know about it the better.

    I researched caffeine a lot for my last project and the interesting thing is that it seems to work synergistically with whatever’s going on in your life. In that regard, it’s kind of like pot.

    For example, if you’re stressed, lacking sleep and anxiety-ridden — caffeine will multiply those negative effects and jack up your sleep. On the other hand, if you’re well-rested, chillaxin’ and cool as a pickle, caffeine is just your morning ambrosia and doesn’t interfere with sleep at all. In fact, a small cup of green tea, or some low dose caffeine an hour before bed will give you CRAZAY dreams…

  • Matt

    I usually drink a small coffee in the first few minutes of my work day, plus a cup of Earl Grey tea in the afternoon. However, during football season, I weaned myself off of coffee (only occasional tea). About an hour before kickoff, I’d drink about 14 oz. of coffee during the mental prep time before the game. Gives me a boost to go into beastmode and play great football.

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    Dangerous? No. Caffeine effects everyone differently. If I drank that much I’m sure I would have panic attacks, and near psychosis. High caffeine content can cause high blood pressure. Is this in check for you? Other than that, unless you want to try to reduce your intake, I wouldn’t be to worried. If you do try to wean off of it migraines, depression and fatigue may result from withdrawal effects.

  • Tea addict

    Thanks for the info, good to know there’s nothing intrinsically dangerous about it. My doctor says I have lower than average blood pressure so no worries there. Phew! Best keep on drinking the stuff ;)

  • http://www.mithrilwisdom.com/ Jamie Gibbs

    I went cold turkey off caffeine for a few months without withdrawal; I switched to peppermint tea instead. I’m back on the caffeine but using it to give me a boost before a workout.

    Jamie

  • Richard Olson

    The response to caffeine is individualized based upon one’s biochemistry which varies tremendously between individuals. Personally, I can not tolerate it in the smallest amounts.

  • http://twitter.com/ysabet elspeth

    Ah, caffeine. We’ve had a long love-hate relationship.

    Rate of consumption has a huge impact on the effect of caffeine. There’s a huge difference between consuming 50mg in 10min and consuming the same amount over the course of 5hrs. A quick hit causes a spike and crash (mid afternoon sleepies, anyone?), whereas sipping over a few hours gives a background burn. Sure, the spike is great fun, but what comes up must come down.

    Additionally, green tea doesn’t have quite the same release rate as the caffeine from coffee (and energy drinks, for that matter). I can’t locate the sources right now, but green tea tends to have a flatter effect curve – that is, the effect is closer to a slow burn, rather than boom and bust. The dip afterwards is correspondingly shallow.

    A couple other bits: caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant, so be careful of it if you have issues eating enough. It also destroys calcium, and a few other vitamins and minerals, so don’t count getting full nutritional value from a meal consumed with caffeine. Tea, coffee, and sodas are also pretty acidic, and can ruin your teeth, or increase sensitivity issues if you’re prone to them. Caffeine can act as a pain reliever, due to the effect it has on blood flow. This kicks in at surprisingly low amounts (around 10mg in one particular study, if memory serves). Caffeine can and does interact with medications and alcohol, increasing or decreasing their effects, which can range from being mildly annoying to fatal.

    … I’ll put my nerd away now. Hope these tidbits were interesting/useful :)

  • Karen

    I’m surprised you didn’t post links supporting your statement about the link between artificial sweeteners & cancer, when I’d recently read the opposite: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/artificial-sweeteners

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    Karen, the debate is still on and research hasn’t become concrete enough to weigh either side. Their is research that suggests carcinogens are developed through high artificial sweetener consumption. I knew of two doctors who were EXTREMELY healthy and as apart of their “daily fix” they would have a couple Diet Cokes (Aspartame). Both of them ended up battling and surviving brain cancer. Is this coincidence…more than likely.

    Why does anyone subject themselves to anything artificial. We’re allowed to have real sugar, people just overdue it. We see it time and time again that artificial is far less superior than what mother earth gave us to consume (of course this can be abused and taken out of context as well).

    The great part is, is it’s all up to the individual to eat as they want :-).

  • Chiara

    used to drink starbucks’s iced mocha, made it skim, became brewed coffee with cream and sugar, removed the cream, turned splenda, now i just drink black coffee :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/railenthe.zeal Railenthe Zeal

    I have an interesting relationship with caffeine. I once quit it cold turkey–didn’t touch the stuff for a month in any form, didn’t get jittery going off of it, didn’t have the whiplashy headaches it can cause…but in the process I’d forgotten why I use the stuff in the first place: I have ADHD and hate the prescriptions for it. Focusing on one thing at a time is impossible for me on a good day, but without caffeine I completely lose that ability. I try to keep it to a reasonable 300mg/day, but sometimes I shoot past that mark.

    Of course, most of the intake comes from working on writing and caffeine naps…

  • http://www.facebook.com/railenthe.zeal Railenthe Zeal

    I myself can throw nine mugs of coffee in a day (regular beans, cold brewed). I’ve never gotten any problems from it but still…that’s quite a bit of coffee. I checked off with my doctor, and he has very few problems with this in comparison to one of the ADD drugs (though he suggested I cut down to seven. lol)

    Speaking of cold-brew, I can’t find research that agrees: what is the average amount of caffeine in a cold-brew serving versus hot-brew?

  • rimam1

    That was a pretty epic post. I actually was inspired by the guys at Energy Fiend to create my own app. It’s about how many calories are in coffee. I called it “Does Coffee Make You Fat?”

    http://www.exerciseroutinesblog.com/is-your-daily-coffee-making-you-fat/

  • http://www.adaptamed.com/emr-news/ EMR Technician

    I love drinking coffee and without it, my day is incomplete. I honestly don’t count the caffeine and calorie intake. And does it make you fat? Drinking coffee is a usual thing for me but I see to it that I never drink more than 3 cups a day. But I don’t feel that usual kick anymore. Do you think I need to restart?

  • http://www.heartratewatchcompany.com/ Michelle @ Suunto M5

    i drink 2 small cups of black tea with little sugar.. i think that’s not much!! Is this calorie chart displays with sugar calories, or without sugar calories??

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin
  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    Keep on chugging ;-). Their is a lot of research coming out about the benefits of coffee, not to mention the great antioxidant benefits in tea that we already know about.

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    WOW! 9? That’s intense, lol. Supposedly cold brewed coffee has 2/3 less caffeine than regular brewed. Take a look at this article.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/5728227#.ULOuSGfvPRQ

  • h.

    I don’t like the taste of coffee, so I take caffeine pills! Each pill is 200mg, so I cut them in half and take one when I need an energy boost. I’m very sensitive to caffeine, so 100mg is plenty. A bottle of pills will last you a long time.

    Is there anything negative linked to pills?

  • Howard Moon

    I don’t understand that calories vs caffeine chart. The caffeine numbers seem way off. It’s impossible for a small americano to have more caffeine than a single espresso because they have the same coffee in them. The same with the large cappuccino and the double espresso. Most of all, the large americano has three times the caffeine of a double espresso. Which doesn’t make sense unless large means six shots.

  • avril2407

    Ok, I seem to drink an awful lot more than anyone else, I am on about 20 cups a day of tea, what can I say, I have tried cold turkey before, and the headaches were bad (understatement). I’m not sure where to go with this, I know its over consumption, and the comment re higher blood pressure struck home, I find this one difficult. I used to drink hot water as a way of having at least a hot drink, but its bland. I hate coffee, hot chocolate and all the other stuff, tea is my Nemesis. Also if not for drinking tea, I would never drink any milk, would it matter if I didn’t, would I be healthier or worse off for that?

  • avril22407

    I drink approx 20 cups of tea a day, I’ve tried to stop before, but the headaches are extreme, I know that’s probably a lot, but I don’t like coffee, hot chocolate or any other hot drink. The bit on higher blood pressure struck a chord though. I used to try drinking just hot water, but quite bland, any ideas out there.

  • http://www.NateAnglin.com/ Nate Anglin

    WOW! 20 cups? You are quite the caffeinator! Cold turkey may not be the best for you, but weaning yourself off is best since thats excessive. Their all sorts of caffeine free tea. You should try replacing a cup every other time to start off with. You can get calcium many other ways such as cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. This is essential, so don’t leave this out of your eating healthy plan.

  • Pingback: Grab Bag: Cool Shit I Want To Share For November Week 4 | College Info Geek

  • Taylor

    The cold turkey approach is definitely not for you — try the sloooowww recovery :)

    Set a goal each week and stick to it. If you are at 20 cups now per day, I’d suggest cutting two cups of tea per day, so 18 each day for the first week(keeping track is important). On the second week see how you feel and try for 17 or 16 cups a day. And so on. It’s very difficult to go cold turkey when you are consuming 1,000 + mgs of caffeine (which you likely are).

  • Taylor

    In general terms the chart was meant to demonstrate the relative placement of each drink in comparison to each other. That said, it looks like you are right about the small Americano. Nice catch.

    It looks like the data used for the chart was from UK Starbucks — so I’d chalk up the confusion from this fact. On to the nerdy data, according to Energy Fiend’s Starbucks data, you are right about the small Americano, but wrong about the large: http://www.energyfiend.com/the-complete-guide-to-starbucks-caffeine

    The small does indeed have 75mg, but the large (venti) as shown on the graph has 300 mg.

    There might be some other problems. I’d also argue items like the energy drink should be higher up on the calorie scale. In any event, I think the graph does a good job in reminding us of the big picture choices… that we want to stay as in the bottom left quadrant whenever possible.

  • Taylor

    Try tea! You will reap all sorts of benefits from green tea that you wont get when you just cut to the chase and take caffeine!

  • Taylor

    I believe the chart displays as the product is served (the data they used looks like it is from starbucks). That said, don’t feel guilty about a little sugar. That said, if you want bonus points you can look into natural sweeteners (honey, blue agave, etc!).

  • Taylor

    3 small cups a day can be perfectly healthy and manageable, depending on your weight (see the article). If you are drinking black coffee, tea, or espresso, it won’t make you fat. If you are a drinking an Orange Mocha Frappuccino three times a day…you may be in trouble :)