OTTAWA -- Caffeine can be found in various foods and beverages, including colas and other carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, tea and coffee. It can be either naturally present or added during the manufacturing process.
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Caffeine can also be found in some health products, including "energy shots" and some over-the-counter cold and headache medicines. Read all product labels carefully and always follow the label instructions.
While small amounts of caffeine are not a concern for most Canadians, consuming too much caffeine can cause insomnia, headaches, irritability and nervousness. Some people who are very sensitive to caffeine can experience these effects at very low levels. For women who may become pregnant or are pregnant, the possible health effects of consuming too much caffeine include an increased risk of miscarriage and a risk of low birth weight. Children are also considered to be at greater risk of experiencing adverse effects from caffeine. Recommended limits for children and adolescents are based on their body weights. Health Canada provides the following advice:
Health Canada recommends that Canadians limit their caffeine intake to the following:
Healthy Adults: No more than 400 mg of caffeine per day – about three 8 oz cups (237 mL) of brewed coffee per day
Pregnant or breastfeeding women/women who are planning to become pregnant: No more than 300 mg of caffeine per day – a little over two 8 oz (237 mL) cups of coffee
Children aged 4 to 6: No more than 45 mg per day
Children aged 7 to 9: No more than 62.5 mg per day
Children 10 to 12: No more than 85 mg per day
Adolescents 13 and older: No more than 2.5 mg/kg body weight
See Health Canada's Caffeine in Food fact sheet for more information on caffeine in different foods and beverages.
You may also wish to talk to your family doctor about your caffeine intake, and any possible interactions with your prescription medications.
SOURCE Health Canada
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