Regularly consuming coffee has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well a reduced likelihood of memory problems later in life.
A few cups of coffee may also save your liver from a heavy night of drinking and potentially improve your mental health. At least two studies have connected throwing back two-plus cups a day with a lower risk of suicide. (Whether it’s the potential mood boost and healthy compounds coffee contains that explain this fascinating correlation or whether happier people just gravitate towards more coffee shops isn’t clear. But still … wow?)
Higher consumption of coffee in a more recent study was also connected to a lower risk of all-cause-mortality — suggesting regular caffeine drinkers may live longer than total abstainers.
All that great stuff about your favorite blend aside, too much coffee — or other sources of caffeine — have been implicated in some not-so-great health consequences. Among them: a heightened risk of miscarriage, lung cancer (when combined with cigarettes), and (obvi)insomnia. If it’s unfiltered, it may also be bad for your cholesterol levels.
So how can you reap coffee’s benefits without ending up in your doctor’s office more often? The answer, annoyingly, is moderation. (Heard that before?)
Many medical professionals and dietitians suggest keeping your caffeine intake between 100 to 300 milligrams per day. (Others grant you greater leeway, capping the max at 400.) You can be the judge based on how your body reacts to the stuff — i.e., if it wigs you out or makes your heart skip a few beats? Try getting a half-caff or switching one of your cups to tea.
Considering most blends and brands of coffee — not to mention other caffeinated beverages — vary remarkably in how many milligrams they pump into their products, knowing when you’re nearing these limits isn’t always easy. A 16-ounce Starbucks coffee, for instance, has 330 milligrams of caffeine while the same size cup from Dunkin’ Donuts only has 206.
To save you the hassle of looking all this up every time you refuel, we rounded up some helpful illustrations from our friends at Business Insider to show you what your max caffeine intake should look like — wherever you get your fix.
If you’re going to Starbucks: