Home > Blog > Caffeine Sources
By Kristi Friesen, Registered Dietitian

By: Destini Moody, SFSU Dietetic Intern & Kristi Friesen, Registered Dietitian at Project Open Hand 


"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close,” says Joe Vinson, Ph.D. 

It’s true! About 54% of Americans over 18 drink coffee every day. When consumed in moderation (i.e. about 2 cups a day) coffee also has a host of benefits. It is full of antioxidants which reduce inflammation in the body. Studies show it may also reduce the risk of heart disease in adults without existing heart problems, reduce the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease. 

Caffeine is a mild diuretic that, when consumed in larger amounts (about 400 mg or 4 cups of coffee), may lead to hydration issues. Therefore, it is a smart idea to balance out your caffeine intake by consuming more water. 

How much caffeine are you drinking?


While there are no specific recommendations for caffeine intakes in the U.S., the FDA released a letter in August 2012 stating that for healthy adults, caffeine intake up to 400 mg/day is not associated with adverse health effects. However, consuming more than this can cause restlessness, anxiety, irritability, muscle tremors, sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and abnormal heart rhythms. Therefore, it is important to read labels carefully for ingredients and keep track of how many milligrams of caffeine you are consuming. 

Again, the key here is moderation. Additionally, it is important to watch how much milk and sugar you add to your coffee. A cup of black coffee alone contains only about 2 calories. However, once you add 2 

spoons of half & half and 4 spoons of sugar, that number shoots up to 232 calories. After two cups of coffee, you just added almost 500 empty calories to your breakfast!


1921 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-0221
Email Us

San Francisco

730 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 447-2300
Email Us