How much caffeine do you consume on a daily basis? Are you consuming more than you should?
Caffeine affects our body’s ability to absorb calcium and Vitamin D, which are vital for our bone strength. Overconsumption of caffeine may lead to a decrease in bone density, which can then lead to a higher risk of bone fractures and developing osteoporosis and osteopenia, both diseases of low bone density.
Some are at a higher risk than others of developing these diseases. Those most at risk are people with small body frames, those with low calcium consumption, those who excessively consume alcohol, or have a family history of low bone density.
Caffeine can be found in several beverages including coffee, soda (regular and diet), tea and energy drinks. It can also be found in foods such as chocolate, ice cream, yogurt, as well as some over-the-counter pain medications.
Caffeine consumption should be kept at a moderate level, not exceeding 300 milligrams per day. To give you an idea of caffeine in milligrams, here are some examples of beverages and the amount of caffeine in one serving size.
Starbucks coffee: 330 mg
Dunkin Donuts coffee: 178 mg
Maxwell House ground coffee: 100-160 mg
Starbucks Tazo Awake Tea: 135 mg
Snapple Lemon Tea: 62 mg
Soda (regular or diet): 20-50 mg
5-Hour Energy: 208 mg
Monster Energy: 160 mg
Red Bull: 80 mg
If you find that you’ve exceeded your daily caffeine consumption, opt for decaf coffee or tea, or better, herbal tea. In addition, be sure to consume 3-4 servings of calcium-rich foods per day to keep your bones strong. For a list of dairy-free calcium-rich foods, take a look at this post.
Sources: LiveStrong, Osteopenia3, Center for Science in the Public Interest
Photo courtesy: WebMD