Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world. People love it, and count on it, for its stimulative properties, especially first thing in the morning, when the body is waking up and caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine that promotes sleep.
But after you wake up, do you really need it during the day? That depends on how much you like consuming the foods that contain caffeine – most notably coffee, non-herbal tea and chocolate – and whether you consume so much caffeine on a daily basis that you need more than one jolt in the morning to keep the drowsiness away.
Caffeine isn’t addictive in the biological sense, but it can become a dependency if you consume too much. Scientists say that 400mg or less per day is the safe range to avoid dependency.
Unfortunately, caffeinated foods don’t come with a label reporting how much caffeine is in each serving. So you’ll have to rely on sites like Caffeine Informer to figure out how much of your favorite caffeinated foods you can safely consume each day.
For example, by doing a little math based on Caffeine Informer’s database, I figured out that my morning 10-ounce cup of Peet’s French Roast has about 166mg of caffeine in it.