How much Coffee do you Drink

I am beginning to develop a growing concern about the sheer quantity of caffeine I consume on a daily basis.
Like most of this community, I get to sleep at 1am and wake up around 7am. Meaning I don't get the most quality rest. Before I even leave my apartment I'm already 2 glasses of cold brew in. My office also has a fantastic espresso machine so by 10am I make myself a double espresso. 
By 10:30 I have probably spent 20 minutes in the bathroom shitting my brains out.
After my morning meetings I will have another espresso before grabbing some lunch. While eating lunch I'll usually have it with some starbucks or whatever. This is followed by another 20 minutes of aggressive shitting. 
After lunch I always get hit with the mid day slump, so to power me through the rest of the day I'll have another espresso around 3pm. 
Despite literally vibrating at my desk all day from the life threatening caffeine levels in my system, I still feel drowsy all the time. 
When 8pm rolls around and I still have 4 hours of work to go I'll sometimes even have a Red Bull or Celsius. 
By the time I get home I've had so much coffee I can't sleep despite feeling so tired. Maybe I'm exaggerating slightly but the shitting my brains out part is 100% accurate.
So how much coffee do you all drink?

Comments (79)

Oct 5, 2021 - 5:16pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Was at 3 to 4 cups a day.  Started having bad sleep now I am at roughly at 3ish cups a week ( I like the taste, but am just more cautious around my caffeine intake).

Oct 5, 2021 - 5:32pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How has 3 cups been for you lately? I used to drink 2 a day, and then stopped cold turkey about a month or so ago, but haven't honestly found many mental benefits. I didn't really have trouble sleeping then or anything, but just felt concerned like a hypochondriac. I think I'm going to start again soon.

Edit: I will say though, on the 4th day of not drinking coffee, I felt like I was going to die but then it was fine after that.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • 1
Oct 5, 2021 - 5:40pm
PeRmAnEnTiNtErN, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have gone a few weeks of not drinking coffee.  Sometimes I just go with a small cup of decaf.  

The only days I really notice an effect is when 1. I drink more than one cup 2. I typically drink that night.  (AKA Fridays,have a coffee then so and so wants to grab a coffee.  Then I go have a beer or two,  my sleep suffers) 

Other than this,  no side effects.  

Oct 8, 2021 - 3:17pm
GetMeIntoIB123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Nothing wrong with coffee itself, It's just the caffeine and the lack of deep sleep that comes with it. I love the taste so I switched to decaf as my second cup of the day and my body doesnt realize its different.

Oct 5, 2021 - 5:19pm
Addinator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Setting aside the obvious jokes about switching to more natural, powdery substances - less and less honestly. I'll have a cup or two in the AM - maybe one more closer to 11 or noon if I'm really feeling it - but after that I try to limit is as much as I can. It doesn't annihilate my sleep, but certainly doesn't help. 

Something else that is obvious, but took me a while to realize, is that I was drinking so much coffee that it amped up my anxiety and irritability to really unhealthy levels. Since I've dialed it back, it's really helped to control both of those things - which is really good. Last thing I need is extra amped, chemically induced stressors at this point.

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Oct 5, 2021 - 5:34pm
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Do you mean that you felt anxious from having drank 1-2 cups daily? It doesn't sound like much, but is 14 cups a week. That's part of the reason as to why I had stopped.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Oct 5, 2021 - 5:37pm
Addinator, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not generally from 1 - 2, that's about what I can tolerate before the anxiety, etc. start ramping up. I used to be in the territory of the OP, where I'd drink coffee all day long and then be surprised when I was irritable and sleep deprived. 

I actually did a whole 'reset' a while back like you did where I stopped drinking caffeine or swapped to decaf. It felt pretty good, the ritual of it probably is the hardest thing to kick. Applaud you for sticking with it. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 5:43pm

Eat healthier food (high protein, low carb) to avoid glucose spikes and crashes. You should also workout if you aren't already. If you're in your 20s, you should be able to function on 6-7 hrs relatively easily. Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions on caffeine, as I never drank it in the first place. But I've noticed when I am eating a keto diet, or something close to it, I can function on 5 hours without feeling super tired by EOD. If you're interested in metabolic health, I highly recommend you check out Levels and follow some influencers in the low carb lifestyle community.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Oct 6, 2021 - 12:09am

This is the best advice. I cut out added sugar completely for a few months and was able to function on 5-6 hours of sleep much more easily. I wouldn't cut out carbs entirely if you're doing a lot of exercise, but sugar specifically gives me crazy energy spikes so I would start there. 

I also switched from coffee to sugar free energy drinks. The energy you get from coffee is more intense, but once it's gone you crash way harder. Many energy drinks have vitamins and shit make me feel no crash at all. 

  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 6, 2021 - 12:27am

What energy drinks are you having? Have you also tried any functional drinks, since you mentioned vitamins?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Oct 7, 2021 - 3:22pm

+1, idk why anyone would ms you for saying this. The only time I'm having a (1) cup of coffee is if I'm on 4 hrs or less of sleep. Even then, I'd rather have green tea (more benefits). Diet plays such a crucial role in everyone's energy levels and overall health. Additionally, I find that when I'm consistently working out I have more energy. 

Also- pump more water and cut out seed oils. 

Oct 5, 2021 - 10:10pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

What's coffee? JK, I just don't drink. Personally, I drink tea all day. Not as big of a kick as coffee, but healthier.

I like your approach to having tea as I am a big proponent to drinking green tea all day, but to say tea is healthier than coffee is like saying an apple is healthier than an orange. Clearly too much coffee pulls on the adrenal gland, but coffee also has antioxidants and is quite healthy in moderation. Healthier than tea? Well, excessive coffee is not healthier than tea, but there is no overreaching rule that says tea is objectively healthier. Coffee needs to be moderated and tea doesn't really. They both do different things. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 8:16pm

Matcha is the way to go – caffeine and L Theanine are the perfect combo

Oct 5, 2021 - 9:22pm
Fast and Fiduciary, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've tried Matcha from Trader Joes before. It was delicious and definitely hits hard with the amount of caffeine. But it only took 10 minutes to right through me and flush out everything in me. I had a gastric exorcism in the office bathroom. People who went into the bathroom after me never came back out. I'm assuming they dissolved in my gaseous fumes. But yeah matcha is delicious. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Oct 5, 2021 - 9:32pm

That's the best part, you feel like you just did a cleanse

Oct 5, 2021 - 10:20pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

South American Yerba Mate is also nice - out of a gourd with a metal straw 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Oct 5, 2021 - 10:34pm

I also drink coffee and my only advice is to not have any more than 4 espresso shots. 5+ shots give me headaches and is usually the point where there's almost no noticeable benefit. If you can, just take a quick nap and come back in 1 hour, you'll feel 100x better. Don't drink coffee right after waking up, hold the urge for a few hours. Also, don't drink coffee at least 3-4 hours before you are going to go to sleep, it's going to be much easier to go to sleep. There's been a point in time when I was so coffee addicted that I was drinking 13 espresso shots, just hoping that I don't get a heart attack, but that was because I made an awful decision to do an IB internship while taking two classes during the summer (I was trying to take advantage of P/NP during the time of Zoom classes lol). Wearing it off took lot of time, but it's doable (just make sure you have some medication to deal with headaches because I had really bad headache for 2 days after starting the process).

Oct 5, 2021 - 11:27pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

128 oz… on average… and I'm not even joking…

If we had a coffee drinking competition, I could beat you.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 5, 2021 - 11:47pm
IncomingIBDreject, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Every day? I'm not even sure I drink that much water every day...


Oct 5, 2021 - 11:26pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have jacked my heart up so much on caffeine, sometimes hitting 205bpm measured in activity. 192bpm is usually the extreme limit of my heart though in Zwift Cycling races. I hit 205 once in the past year and it was an out of body experience. I felt like I was dying and most alive I've ever been at the same time. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 4
Oct 6, 2021 - 12:23am
Yankee Doodle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Working from home has made me drink at least 5-6 cups of coffee a day (or 2-3 red bulls).

"Work ethic, work ethic" - Vince Vaughn

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Oct 6, 2021 - 5:19am 

Oct 6, 2021 - 5:49am
GoLiftSomeWeightsBro, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No particular limit on how much I consume (within fucking reason ofc), as long it is before 11:30 am, but generally about 3-4 cups (250ml cups). 

After that I notice worsened sleep quality regardless of how much coffee I drink. 

  • VP in IB-M&A
Oct 6, 2021 - 7:10am

Way too much, and I'm finally coming to terms with it being a problem. I pretty much drink coffee continuously from when I wake up until 4:00 in the afternoon. Like probably 7-10 cups per day on average, but I know I regularly have days when I go over a dozen. Will also toss in a Diet Coke or two every once in awhile-especially with meals. I also drink a decent amount of water throughout the day, as well, so I urinate quite frequently. This has become habitual, so I drink nearly that amount on off days, too. Not good.

I've started to recognize the impact it's having on sleep. Even when I'm very tired I will sometimes wake up at 3:00am with tons of thoughts swimming through my brain, and I almost never fall back asleep. Definitely need to start slowing down the intake. I love the taste of coffee (would probably drink it all night if I could), so I should probably mix in decafs. 

Oct 6, 2021 - 12:58pm
Sequoia, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Zero. Cut it out after it started causing anxiety (along with binge drinking, almost never do that anymore). Now I'm functioning really well and am super happy

Sometimes I have the rare special drink from starbucks but that's like once a month. When I need a caffeine kick I do green tea. I get 7.5-8hrs of sleep every night. It's amazing, definitely try it out as it'll change your life. I'm never going back to the days of sub-7hrs of sleep 

Most Helpful
Oct 6, 2021 - 1:49pm
Floor 3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I like to think about this in milligrams b/c I mainly take caffeine pills now, but on a normal day I have no more than ~300mgs (or roughly 3 cups of coffee [assuming avg of 95-100mg caffeine per cup]) and stop 'heavy' caffeine consumption at noon. I'll allow some green tea after the cut off if I'm in an early afternoon slump, but that's it. Used to have trouble sleeping but after instituting the cut off I noticed my sleep got a lot better. And I'm getting anywhere from 6-9 hrs of sleep.

^that's in my non-banking role, so probably less exciting - back in the IB days it was bad. Assuming a 1am EOD, I was probs hitting two cups by noon, one or two cups after lunch, one cup after dinner, and maybe a redbull / mountain dew at some point in the day (or in place of one of the cups). If I knew I was going to be working into the early AM I'd for sure grab a cup at like 11pm/midnight. I used to keep pre-workout under my desk and take some in-place of a cup of coffee if I was feeling spicy, and also had a caff/nootropic combo pill on hand (bought from GNC but I believe it's no longer sold/in production). One time I ran into an associate making a cup of coffee at 11:30pm right before he was leaving the office, and upon asking him why he was making a cup of coffee before heading home, received this answer (slightly paraphrased): "it helps me sleep because I don't feel normal without it." Good times.

OP if you're worried about it I would very slowly start to cut back. Caffeine is a drug, so you're just weaning off your addiction. Maybe just go 1 cold brew before you leave your apt instead of 2, and do that for a few months before cutting something else out. No caffeine is probs unrealistic, so slowly work at it until you get to a level you feel is healthy. For me, max of 3 cups feels right but YMMV. I've read that caffeine doesn't actually give you energy and just makes you feel more awake, so to the extent that you can (i) focus on getting better quality sleep (e.g. no screen time 1 hr before bed, cut caffeine consumption out 6 hrs before bed, etc.) and (ii) improve natural energy (e.g. exercise, refine diet --> saw a few comments addressing this and I know there have been posts on this), you might see some improvement in the perpetual drowsiness even without getting more sleep.

Oct 6, 2021 - 4:57pm
gator10, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Literally staring at this with bags under my eyes on my third day of 3-4 cups a day wanting to just crawl into a corner and sleep. 

Oct 6, 2021 - 4:58pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just chug a bunch of water, workout 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 7, 2021 - 2:13am

Total of 6 espresso shots from 9:00 - 6:00pm - I try not to drink coffee after 6:00pm so that I can at least get a few hours of sleep.

  • Intern in S&T - FI
Oct 7, 2021 - 11:02am

Might as well not sleep drinking that much. Drinking 1 espresso at 6pm is exactly the same as drinking half of one right before you get in bed 6 hours later and expecting to sleep well. Now add up the other five you are drinking. In IB its not realistic to cut it out completely but seriously would consider cutting it in half if not just 2 a day for just your own wellbeing.

Oct 7, 2021 - 3:21pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Coffee is actually the most antioxidants people get per day who are eating processed foods. It's not bad for you; you're misinformed.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
Oct 7, 2021 - 10:38am
teamryan15, what's your opinion? Comment below:

you could definitely cut that intake in the morning. No need for 2 coldbrews before you even leave and cut out the caffeine with your lunch. Instead eat something lean and clean and have a bunch of water.

Keep in mind that once you start lowering your intake you're probably going to have a bunch of migraines. At least thats what happens to me for a bit.

Oct 7, 2021 - 3:36pm
MikeHuntESQCFAMBAMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

6 shot shaken espresso in the AM, alani Nu at lunch, preworkout about 430-5 to finish the day strong. Jitter my teeth off until 2, take a NyQuil to sleep then repeat.

I'm trying to lay off now, most I will do is a small coffee with adderall.

Oct 8, 2021 - 7:52am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

2 cups max for me only black coffee whether it's cold brew or french press. I used to gas coffee like none other when I was an analyst and it just sucked in terms of the jitters and general increase in cravings for more caffeine. When I went to PE, I transitioned to limiting myself to two cups a day my second year and focusing on hydration in the late afternoon / evening. My PE hours were worse than banking so sure I could've used the coffee but I honestly felt better with the limit in place.

  • 2
Oct 8, 2021 - 10:16am
NewIndustryHorizon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1 at 10AM and 2nd one usually around 2PM. If I'm desperate for energy, I may sneak one in between 10-2 or one after 4PM. I try to avoid drinking coffee past 5PM unless I had a busy day and had some place to go at night (party/late dinner).

If it's straight black coffee, I never go beyond 16 oz. Flexible with french press coffee that I make at home since it's variable in strength (I make it strong and when my wife makes it, it tends to be quite light)

Oct 14, 2021 - 5:54pm
jvplascencialeal, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First and foremost I hope you´re doing better and I wanted to tell you I´ve been in your position before man; it got pretty bad especially in the latter part of my college years where all the stress and pressure of the fact that the party was ending and that I felt I hadn´t accomplished a lot of what I wanted caused to get me into a full-on caffeine binge that eventually sent me to the cardiologist I drank a lot of hot coffee in the winter times like 5 or 6 cups a day and switch it to energy drinks like a variant of Pepsi called Pepsi Kick available only here in Latin America as far as I can remember and a Red Bull or 2 daily during the summer and spring; 

Right now 2 years later and after starting going to therapy to learn how to cope with the pressure,stress and fears of failing in this new stage of my life and working with my cardiologist I considerably lowered my coffee consumption to a cup or 2 per day leaving plenty of hours between each cup or energy drink and also having coffee-free days in which I switch to tea (Twinnings Green with Jasmine, Chai and Black being my favorites) and having a sleep schedule that allows me to be fully rested even if I have 2 jobs (an 8 to 3 and a 4 to 7) so as to lower the adenosine receptors in my brain to normal levels and limiting the consumption of Red Bull or similar stuff to as low as possible 

That´s my suggestion to y´all talk with a doctor specially a cardiologist neurologist or an endocrinologist about this situations and if your workplace is one of those where burnout is seen as a badge of honor be even more careful and talk with human resources about any issues you may have and organize your schedule as I did in a manner where you can as much sleep as needed so you don´t drink that much coffee and leave some days where you drink no coffee at all  

Oct 14, 2021 - 11:01pm
Frost Alpha, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Usually 3-5 or sometimes I'll have an energy drink and drink 2-3 cups of coffee. I make sure to spread my caffeine intake out throughout the day because if I don't I end up crashing.

Dec 6, 2021 - 1:17am
NatRes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

was at 6 cups a day, switched to decaf, went through the two weeks of hell and never looked back.

Dec 9, 2021 - 9:12pm
iridescent007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I don't drink coffee at all unless I need to crank some shit til 2am or 3am.

Dec 30, 2021 - 1:10am
GreaterThan175, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Most women can consume three to five cups of coffee per day, with a maximum caffeine intake of 400 mg, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies based on the variety, but an average 7-ounce cup contains 95 mg.

"Greater than is a super natural performance drink that’s focused on properly hydrating mothers and families all across the USA. The magic doesn’t come from spells & potions, it comes straight from mother nature. A proprietary blend of organic coconut water, non-GMO fruit juice and a dash of sea salt now crafted into the healthiest sports drink on the market, all with NO chemicals or added sugars."
Jan 3, 2022 - 11:34am
brewei778, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm a big fan of having a cup when you wake up and then sipping on another (in a tumbler to keep it hot/cold) for around 2 hours to keep the caffeine flowing without having my entire body shake uncontrollably. It might be a better way to help reduce total intake over a while because the caffeine lasts longer, just at lower intensity. Also the shits tend to not be as bad. 

Jan 4, 2022 - 4:55pm
Welsh Carrot, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jan 26, 2022 - 5:31pm
CompBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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