Whenever a person tells me, he or she drinks more than three cups per day, I recommend a gradual reduction in coffee or tea drinking to three cups or less. An immediate switch to the same amount of decaffeinated coffee or tea will produce symptoms of caffeine withdrawal (irritability, headache and inability to work effectively, nervousness, restlessness and tiredness). If you currently drink more than three cups, cut down by one cup per day every three or four days until you are down to three cups per day. This will help reduce the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. While you are cutting down, you can replace one cup of caffeine-containing coffee for one cup of decaffeinated coffee. Sometimes, it is hard to keep track of how many cups of coffee you drink per day. Limit yourself to one cup of caffeine-containing coffee per meal. If you want more coffee, make the next cup decafe. Also, try to avoid drinking all three caffeinated cups at the same time.
I’m worried that I’m drinking too much coffee. How much is too much?
The current recommendations regarding caffeine are less than 15 ounces of coffee or less than 30 ounces of tea per day. In 2002 (latest results available), the average man drank the equivalent of 10 ounces of coffee or 22 ounces of tea and the average woman 8 ounces of coffee or 16 ounces of tea.