Is it OK to drink 2 cups of coffee a day?

coffee tray and french press

Coffee drinking is common for adults, with a significant number of Americans waking up with a cup of coffee. And a certain section of the coffee consumers is fond of doubling their intake. If you have a cup of joe daily and find yourself drowsy by midday, you might want to join the latter club.

It is OK to drink 2 cups of coffee a day if you space the cups far enough and drink plenty of water throughout the day. One can drink up to 4 cups of coffee with appropriate hydration and diet, but consuming any more can cause severe digestive issues, anxiety increase, and lapses in alertness.

In this article, we will cover the context in which coffee intake is increased and how you can find your balance with coffee. Alongside the best practices of upping your coffee consumption, you’ll learn a way to drink more coffee without taking in more caffeine.

Coffee and you: listen to your body

Even though most adults can handle 4 cups of coffee, different people have different caffeine tolerance. Some can stay up all night with a single cup; others require two cups to wake up in the morning. Alongside caffeine tolerance, people have different gut environments. 

With billions of microbes living in our gut, we have to be careful not to upset our stomach pH by suddenly increasing caffeine intake. Gradually increasing your coffee intake cannot be emphasized enough, and if at any point you experience an adverse reaction, cut back on caffeine.

Why do people drink more coffee? Understand the context.

People get introduced to coffee when they need to wake up early or stay up late. So it is understandable that a journey of a thousand servings begins with a single cup. It is inevitable that the individual in question graduates to two cups, though one cup is pretty easy to get used to.

But the yearning for a second cup is followed by hesitation. Caffeine tolerance can creep up and neutralize even three cups of coffee. You’re right in hesitating when it comes to consuming multiple cups of coffee. It is advisable to stick to one cup of coffee for at least one year. This gives your body enough time to adjust to its new caffeine tolerance.

If you have been drinking a cup of coffee daily for over a year, then you can add another cup to your daily consumption without any problem. Usually, such additions are the direct result of schedule changes. For instance, if you need to be awake longer than usual, you might think about consuming another cup of coffee. 

Such one-off additions can be entertained even if less than a year has passed since you started having coffee regularly. That said, you have to take a few precautions when you increase your coffee intake. Coffee, after all, has certain drawbacks, and you need to neutralize them to protect your health.

Drink plenty of water

Coffee is a concentrated concoction that can wreak havoc on the kidneys. You need to drink plenty of water before and after you have had your coffee. Since dehydration can cause drowsiness, some people start feeling sleepy after having an intense cup of coffee. Instead of doubling down on coffee, they should drink water. If you feel your heart beating faster after you’ve had your coffee, you should consume twice as much water as the coffee you had.

Don’t have coffee on an empty stomach.

While one cup of coffee doesn’t harm a vacant stomach, two cups can affect the stomach’s pH. The human gut has a pH that can be disturbed by overconsumption of acidic foods like coffee. That’s why coffee can sometimes lead to heartburn. If you experience a burning sensation in the upper side of your stomach, a tablespoon of Gaviscon can help ease the pain.

Don’t have too much coffee at once

While you can technically get away with having four cups of coffee in a day, you cannot have them all in one sitting. It is advisable to space your coffee consumption sessions four hours apart from each other. This gives you enough room to make use of the first dose of caffeine. When you overstimulate your body with more caffeine than your caffeine receptors can handle, you will have the opposite result and feel drowsy, but with increased heart rate.

Have the right type of coffee.

It is actually not uncommon for coffee to be consumed after supper in certain cultures. That’s because a certain type of coffee can help you sleep. Since different coffee beverages have different effects, you should choose the type of coffee you have at different times of the day. Cappuccino and Lattes go well in the evening; black coffee is great at waking you up in the mornings, and decaf espresso with rich crema might be ideal after supper.

Avoiding caffeine dependence

Many people who want to add another cup of coffee to their daily routine are really after the taste. Because getting that kick of caffeine feels so good, the brain links the feeling to the taste of coffee. If we’re honest, coffee tastes bitter and isn’t generally appealing in flavor or taste. Still, it is an acquired taste among habitual consumers, and if you are one, you can up the dose without increasing your caffeine intake.

For that, you’ll need to add a decaf cup to your daily consumption. Having a strong standard cup of coffee in the morning followed by decaf coffee in the evening can help reign in your caffeine intake while satisfying your craving for more coffee.

Final Thoughts

You can drink 2 cups of coffee unless your gut health gets disproportionately affected by extra caffeine. In that case, you can opt for decaf coffee, which isn’t entirely caffeine-free but features very little caffeine. If you have diarrhea or experience dehydration after adding another cup to your daily consumption, cut back on coffee immediately and drink more water. Often, hydration can help you stay alert more than coffee.

Tim S.

Tim loves roasting, brewing, and experimenting with coffee. After years of perfecting this craft, working as a barista, and owning a small coffee service in college, he has decided to share his knowledge with the world.

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