Whether in coffee, caffeine pills, or combination analgesics, it’s important to limit your total caffeine intake. The maximum amount of daily caffeine varies from person to person, depending on sleep patterns, the presence of anxiety, and sensitivity to possible rebound headaches.
While caffeine can help headaches, its overuse may increase headaches due to rebound mechanisms. Some patients do not suffer from rebound headaches despite the ingestion of as much as 500 mg. of caffeine per day. Others develop rebound headaches with as little as 30 mg. of caffeine per day. In general, try to limit caffeine to 150 or 200 mg. a day at most.
The average 8 ounce cup of coffee has between 75 and 125 mg. of caffeine. Drip coffee is stronger than percolated, and instant coffee is the weakest form. Depending on the size of the cup, and its strength, instant coffee may contain from 40 to 150 mg., but is usually closer to 40. Decaffeinated coffee contains from 2 to 5 mg. per cup, but the caffeine levels may be much higher at restaurants and coffeehouses. These calculations all depend upon the strength of the product, and the brew. Specialty coffeehouses like Starbucks and Caribou often contain twice the usual amount of caffeine per cup.

Keep in mind that drinking a “grande” coffee Monday through Friday, and holding off on the weekend, may set you up for “caffeine withdrawal.”  You may feel tired, or depressed with a headache… common side effects to caffeine withdrawal.   Consider having a cup of coffee on the weekends as well for consistency.  For comments, doclarryrobbins@aol.com

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