Time for tea? How caffeine affects immune function?Nutrition · Sep 1, 2020
Some of the ways caffeine can aid our immune system:
These effects occur when caffeine is consumed in moderation. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (roughly 3 – 4 cups (250ml) of brewed coffee) is recognized as a safe or moderate amount for most healthy adults, while no more than 300 milligrams is recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.9
Caffeine affects everyone differently
It is important to note that caffeine can have varied effects depending on the person consuming it. Some factors that impact an individual’s response to caffeine include frequency of consumption, body mass, age, medication use and mental health. If you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, any amount of caffeine may have unpleasant effects.
Too much caffeine can be bad
Drinking large amounts of caffeine can release higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in response to physical and mental stress. Health concerns associated with this stress response can include elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood sugar and suppression of your immune system. Consuming high doses of caffeine can also induce or worsen panic attacks, anxiety, restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, stomach upset, tachycardia, irritability and addiction.
If you think you exceed the ideal amount of caffeine to experience the above benefits, consider the following steps to energize naturally:
Drink a tall glass of water upon rising and between meals.
Stretch, walk, or climb the stairs.
Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening.
Shorten the brew time or try herbal tea.
Rest when possible.
For personalized support with optimizing your immune system, contact our nutrition team.
8 Kamath, A. et al. 2003. “Antigens in tea-beverage prime human Vγ2Vδ2 T cells in vitro and in vivo for memory and nonmemory antibacterial cytokine responses.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.