As we begin Caffeine Awareness Month, some of us may be holding a steaming mug of dark roast, trying not to think of how our daily pick-me-up effects us. If you have a love-hate relationship with coffee, or any drink with a substantial amount of caffeine, you may alternately think of cutting down while looking forward to your next boost. Caffeine has, some may argue, health benefits, but is it good for you?
If you do a search on caffeine and joint pain, you’ll find conflicting reports. One study reported on WebMD revealed consumption of caffeine may increase risk of rheumatoid arthritis, while The Arthritis Foundation lists tea and coffee among beverages that can help with pain. Aside from caffeine, tea and coffee contain antioxidants which fight the free radicals that bring on pain.
400 milligrams of caffeine is the recommended maximum amount for daily consumption, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you were to consume the full amount, you would need to have:
- About a dozen 12-ounce cans of cola, or
- About eight and a half 12-ounce cans of diet cola, or
- Six 12-ounce cups of black tea, or
- About five 8-ounce cans of an energy drink like Red Bull
While it’s not likely for one person to drink like this on a daily basis, these numbers will vary according to the brand of soda or energy drink. Coffee, perhaps the most popular source of caffeine among adult Americans, will also give different totals depending on the type of roast and who produces it.
Twelve ounces of a store-brand drip coffee could contain anywhere from 50 to 100 milligrams, while a serving of espresso from your favorite cafe may be as high as 200 to 300 milligrams. Also, it’s important to factor other ingredients – sodas and energy drinks will also contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup while you can control some sugar content in coffee and tea.
So, who is right about caffeine and joint pain, and is it okay to have that second cup? These answers largely depend on various factors – the severity of your pain, your overall health, and your dietary needs for starters. At Bon Secours, our team of experts offer patients a full continuum of care designed to help improve your quality of life. Your physician can help you determine if what you eat and drink plays a role in your management, if you need to cut down or if you can enjoy a latte without worry.
Contact us today for more information on the right solutions for your pain management.