Whether in a morning cup of joe or in a late-night cram session energy drink, an estimated 90% of the US population regularly get their caffeine fix.

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug. We know it can be counted on for a pick-me-up.

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More and more research is revealing other upsides like:

  • Improved memory

  • Enhanced athletic performance

  • Beneficial effects on liver health

  • Possible protection against Parkinson’s disease

But can there be too much of a good thing when it comes to caffeine? And how much is too much?

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In a review of nearly 400 studies on the adverse effects of caffeine consumption, researchers concluded that healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams daily, or about four 8-ounce cups of coffee.

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Though caffeine recommendations are based on a specific amount of milligrams, the effects can vary from person to person based on body size, metabolism, and lifestyle factors.

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Most Americans consume fewer than 400 milligrams a day, but since caffeine is such a big part of our lives, it can be hard to see when it’s a problem.

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Overconsumption of caffeine can lead to:

  • Gastrointestinal problems

  • Nervousness, anxiety and trouble sleeping

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Excessive urination

Whether you have a medical reason to cut back or you’ve become too dependant on your daily fix, here are some tips to get you started:

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Keep a caffeine diary

It will help you keep track of how much caffeine you are actually consuming. It could be more or less than what you think.

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Know the sources of caffeine in your diet

Caffeine is found in coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate, but it’s also found in fortified snack foods, energy bars, and some pain medications.

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If you drink coffee, gradually cut back on cups

Trying drinking one fewer cup per week or substituting decaf or a blend of regular and decaf.

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Try coffee alternatives

Tea can still give you a boost, but it has less caffeine. An 8-ounce cup of coffee has 75-165 milligrams of caffeine, compared to an 8-ounce cup of black tea with 47.

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Anticipate when cravings may occur

Avoid situations that trigger cravings and have a plan for when they occur, like taking a five-minute deep breathing break.

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