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Here's how much coffee you should drink in a day to get the most benefit

"400 milligrams of caffeine is okay in a 24-hour day," a health expert says.

TAMPA, Fla. — You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “everything in moderation,” and the same rings true for consuming coffee, or caffeine in general. 

You may be reaching for the cup right now, as Dr. Paul Nanda, chief medical officer at TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track, breaks down how to get the most of that morning Joe. It does have it’s perks! 

“Caffeine in a cup of coffee, is actually pretty good for a lot of things: It can help focus concentration, it can be cardioprotective, it can help the GI system, but if you go too far the other way and drink too much coffee, it can be detrimental, right? It can cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia, it can cause your heart rate to go up, your blood pressure to go up. You feel jittery.” 

Dr. Nanda says in most cases, 400 milligrams of caffeine is okay in a 24-hour day, but he explains the hard part is keeping count of that. 

“So if you’re brewing your coffee at home, which not only will save you money, they usually have a lower amount of caffeine per cup. So it’s about 80 to 100 milligrams per regular 8 ounce cup of coffee. If you go to Starbucks or some of the coffee specialty shops some of those, like the grande, which is the medium size or so, have about 330 milligrams in that one cup.” 

That’s almost the total intake someone should be drinking, right there.

Often, people complain about an afternoon slump. 

Dr. Nanda says caffeine use isn’t always the culprit. 

“If you’re having a cup of coffee in the morning that is a large caramel with sprinkles and everything else, that’s quite a lot of sugar load as well. Some people will have that caffeine rush, but also that sugar rush and then they’ll have that crash and then they’ll try to treat that crash with another cup of coffee in the late afternoon or evening.” 

To help avoid the crash, be conscious of the added sugars and have a meal with your coffee that’s not carbohydrate heavy. 

Dr. Nanda suggests a “small portion of nuts, or something that has high protein, takes your body longer to breakdown and gives you a little more energy in the long course.”

If you’re looking for a natural energy boost, Dr. Nanda says there’s no magic fix, but go back to the health basics. 

“I would avoid things that sell themselves as an instant fix, they tend not to be good for you long term but getting a moderate amount of exercise, even taking a small 10-minute walk will help elevate your mood, decrease stress, and help your concentration and focus to keep you awake.” 

He goes on to explain, “exercise, good sleep and eating a small portion of something that’s protein-rich and not carbohydrate-rich will help give that boost of energy in the afternoon.”

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