How Much Coffee is Too Much?
How Much Coffee is Too Much?
Most coffee lovers can’t imagine a morning without their hot steaming cup of joe. For some, one cup of coffee simply isn’t enough. If you rely on coffee to get you started in the morning, rest assured, you’re not alone.
About half of the adult population in the United States drink coffee every day, that’s 107 million people. In fact, coffee is the most popular beverage in the world. Worldwide we drink over 400 billion cups of coffee a year. That’s about 1.4 billion cups of coffee poured daily.
Have you ever wondered if there’s an upper limit to the amount of coffee we should be consuming? After all, there seems to be a new study published about coffee every week. Some studies tout the health benefits of coffee. Others warn of the dire consequences awaiting us if we consume too much of our favorite hot beverage.
As with most things, the truth falls somewhere in the middle. In this article, we’ll look at the health benefits of coffee and the potential pitfalls of over-consuming this delicious beverage. Finally, we’ll answer the question: how much coffee is too much?
The Health Benefits of Coffee
The great news is study after study has shown that drinking coffee is good for your health. Coffee is full of antioxidants that may protect the brain against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Not only that, but coffee also contributes to a healthy heart and may protect against heart disease.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits before you take a sip of your morning coffee.
Yes, you read that right, coffee may extend your life. Whether you like your coffee caffeinated or prefer the decaffeinated variety, the substances in coffee could prolong your life. According to a recent study, those who drink up to 8 cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely than their non-coffee drinking counterparts.
Keep sipping that coffee, you may be adding years to your life.
Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
According to some studies, the healthy compounds in coffee (caffeinated or decaffeinated) reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, if you already have diabetes, you should exercise caution before reaching for that cup of joe. Caffeine’s impact on insulin could either raise or lower your blood glucose.
Decreased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Most studies show that coffee serves to protect against cognitive decline later in life. Drinking between 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day during middle age may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by about 65% later in life.
Protects the Heart
Consuming coffee has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Drinking four cups of coffee a day is the best amount to benefit from coffee’s heart-protecting properties.
Lowers Risk of Stroke
Four cups or more of coffee a day reduces the risk of stroke. Multiple studies have shown the protective effects of coffee against strokes. Coffee also decreases the chances of developing potentially harmful blood clots.
Also, coffee has been shown to protect against the development of colon cancer, strengthen your DNA by decreasing the breakdown of potentially cancer-causing DNA strands, protect the liver, and lessen the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.
As coffee drinkers worldwide know, coffee also increases your alertness, enhances, exercise, and boosts focus. With all of these benefits, the more coffee we drink, the better, right? We’ll take a look at that question in the next section.
Can you ever get too much of a good thing? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. As with all things, moderation is key. Excessive coffee consumption does come with some risk. So, how much coffee is too much?
According to the Mayo Clinic, about 400 mg of caffeine a day is considered safe for healthy adults. Your average cup of coffee contains about 90 mg of caffeine, which translates into roughly four cups of coffee per day.
How do we reconcile this with the studies suggesting that drinking up to 8 cups of coffee a day increases life expectancy? The best advice is probably to seek equilibrium. Since you’ll reap the health benefits from drinking 4 cups of coffee a day, it’s probably best to use that as your daily upper limit.
Although coffee does have a protective effect on the heart, too much coffee could increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22%. Researchers have found that after six cups of coffee, your heart health could begin to suffer.
Side Effects of Excessive Coffee Consumption
If you drink more than four cups of coffee a day, you could experience the following side effects:
Frequent urination or inability to control urination
We all metabolize coffee differently. Your upper limit could be different from that of your friends or family members. Be sure to pay attention to how you feel once you’ve reached the upper limit of the recommended daily caffeine intake, which is around 400 mg.
With the optimal coffee intake, you can enjoy your cup of joe without putting your health at risk. There’s no reason to kick your coffee habit. However, you should pay attention to your coffee intake. Don’t forget to count the caffeine in other foods you consume when calculating your daily caffeine intake.
Coffee is a delicious beverage jam-packed with health-enhancing properties. How much coffee is too much, the expert consensus is that you shouldn’t exceed four to five cups of a day. The safe upper limit caffeine intake per day is 400mg.
Excessive coffee intake could put your health at risk and produce undesirable side effects such as insomnia, irritability, and heart problems. Listen to your body, if you start experiencing unpleasant side effects, it’s time to cut back.
If you’re consuming other foods or beverages with caffeine, you should take those into account when determining how many cups of joe to have on any given day. Coffee is a safe and healthy beverage. The key is moderation.