First of all, let’s start with caffeine allergies…

Some people can have anaphylactic reactions to caffeine and there is some genetic evidence regarding the inability to process caffeine.  

This is because some people lack the genes to process caffeine properly and so caffeine builds up in a person’s body rather than being broken down properly, so they are hypersensitive to caffeine.

Physical symptoms of caffeine hypersensitivity include rashes, sweats, swelling and difficulty breathing.

Fortunately, being allergic to caffeine is is rare. For those who are allergic to caffeine, it is best to avoid caffeine and switch to decaffeinated coffee instead.

But, what about caffeine intolerance?

Caffeine is not only coffee, but also many different types of teas, energy drinks and soft drinks.

Due to the molecular structure of caffeine, once ingested, it is transported very quickly around the body and its effect is felt relatively quickly.

Some people have an intolerance to caffeine, which ranges from light to strong sensitivity.

Symptoms  include insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, headaches, palpitations, fatigue and high blood pressure.

The question is how much caffeine is safe to drink?

 As with most food intolerances, when the reaction to caffeine is classed as an intolerance and not an allergy, the answer to this question depends very much on the individual.

People are affected by caffeine in different ways. Some are much more sensitive than others and have to adjust their intake accordingly.

General guidelines say that 3-4 cups of coffee per day is fine for most people, but this may be way too much for people with caffein intolerance. Indeed, for some people symptoms of caffeine intolerance might appear when consuming small amounts of caffeine

Of course, the caffeine content of a cup of coffee depends on how large the drink is, the brewing method, the quantity of coffee brewed and the type of coffee beans, as well as the roast level of the coffee.

For those coffee lovers who are caffeine intolerant, it is better to monitor your caffeine consumption and perhaps switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas.

IMPORTANT: This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Nothing in the content or products should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always talk to your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs.

September 06, 2022 — Guy Wilmot

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