How high amounts of caffeine work against you





For most of us, getting through that afternoon dip in the day or making it through your evening workout requires a little outside help. Which is why reaching for that energy drink or third cup of coffee is (very) tempting. 

How much caffeine do you really need? 

More caffeine doesn’t mean just more energy. After a certain point, the side effects of the caffeine get louder, yet your body can still only really harness a particular level of caffeine. 

For the average adult, moderate daily caffeine intake at dose levels of 400 mg/day is not associated with any adverse effects, according to Health Canada

What excessive caffeine leads to

Consuming excessive caffeine, especially beyond 600mg in one day, can lead to more than just jitters. 

Larger amounts of caffeine (600 mg or more) can:

  • cause shaking
  • promote insomnia
  • cause headaches
  • increase irritability
  • upset stomach
  • cause a fast, irregular heartbeat (might feel like your heart is racing)
  • make you feel restless, anxious, and nervous

But over the long term? There’s even more to consider. Long-term effects at this level may include chronic insomnia, constant anxiety, depression, and stomach problems. It can also cause high blood pressure or make high blood pressure worse.

So, how much do you have on a typical day? 

Well, this all starts with where you get your caffeine from. Here are some caffeine levels to consider 

  • Coffee - between 135mg - 179mg per 8oz serving (depending on how you make it)
  • Red Bull energy drink - 80mg per 8oz can
  • Monster Energy drink - 160mg per 16oz can
  • PIlotsFriend - 48mg per 5oz can

What’s important to note here is that, while energy drinks have a (synthetic) caffeine content that is still reasonable within the context of daily caffeine consumption, standard energy drinks add other artificial stimulants such as taurine, bringing the total stimulation effect to an even higher level than just the caffeine itself.

We get it - sometimes caffeine is more than a morning ritual - it’s something that gets you through a day of little sleep or keeps you working on your big project when you stay late at work. But, really, less caffeine is better for our body. 

The happy medium, caffeine-wise

Part of the PilotsFriend story is that our product was developed by scientists to ensure the tonic was not only an all-natural source of energy, but it was a beverage that supported better health. 

Based on research, the optimal amount of caffeine to help us stay sharp and focused is 25-35 mg at a given time. PilotsFriend was designed to time-release caffeine from guarana (fast) and caffeine from Kola nuts (slow) to achieve that range. Based on the amount of each energy source, the caffeine release from a PIlotsFriend is still on the higher range of stimulation, based on our 25-35mg. By keeping the total caffeine in our energy tonic to 48 mg we have found the sweet spot where we still get the optimized stimulation but with an even further reduced caffeine level.

Caffeine for athletic performance

Normally, we’d say that PilotsFriend is ideal for any time that you’d reach for a jolt of energy (because it is ;), but our favourite time to sip on a PilotsFriend lately is actually before a workout! 

As everyone dove back into their fitness routine at the beginning of the year, PilotsFriend was put to the test as a pre-workout alternative. While PIlotsFriend didn’t have that distinct heart-racing burst of energy that pre-workout delivers, the combination of slow and fast-release caffeine sources makes for a sustained level of energy to support you throughout your entire workout. 

You don’t have to overload your body with caffeine in order to hit a new personal record. By fueling your body with a combination of high-quality caffeine and general nutrition, you’ll be able to meet your next fitness goal (or just survive your next spin class). 

Tried and true

“Honestly- the best energy drink I’ve had. Taste wise. No crash. I had it as a pre workout before I took class and it didn’t upset my stomach.” - Cam F., Personal Trainer + Fitness Instructor

Grab all-natural energy drinks at