Caffeine has been designated Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration. This means it can be used as an additive in foods, beverages, and over-the-counter drugs. However some research has shown that caffeine in large doses can have adverse effects including sleeplessness, anxiety, and rapid, irregular heart beat. A 2010 study found that chronic heavy caffeine use (950mg/day) might negatively affect blood vessels in the brain.
To avoid health complications, keep caffeine consumption under 300mg daily. If you’d like to replace your caffeinated beverage with something else warm and tasty, there are herbal options available. Roasted chicory and dandelion root have an earthy flavor like coffee. Rooibos tea has many of the antioxidants that other teas contain, but without the caffeine.
To see the caffeine content of some common beverages, check out this page from the Mayo Clinic.
This article is a reprint of a post I wrote for Sound Integrated Health News.