You know caffeine’s a stimulant—that’s why you rely on it to get you through the week. Unfortunately, in striving to focus and offset fatigue, many of us exceed the daily 300-milligram limit recommended by Michelle Dudash, R.D., author of Clean Eating for Busy Families.
Regularly O.D.’ing on caffeine chronically elevates anxiety, adrenaline, cortisol, and blood pressure, making us more sensitive to everyday stressors and ultimately interfering with sleep .
To avoid the downsides of too much joe, Dudash recommends avoiding coffee and caffeinated soda after work hours and sticking to no more than two 6-ounce cups in the morning. (That 300 milligram limit, by the way, is equivalent to about four cups of most coffees, one 16-ounce grande at Starbucks, or five 20-ounce bottles of soda.)
And remember: Caffeine doesn’t just come from beverages designed to juice you up. Chocolate, some OTC meds (like Midol and Excedrin), and even coffee-flavored ice creams can add to your daily load .