- Heavy consumption of coffee, 6 or more cups per day, is linked with heart disease.
- Coffee offers benefits such as liver protection, but may contribute to insomnia and cardiovascular disease.
- Switching to tea and getting more sleep may lessen your coffee dependence.
Lots of Coffee Could Mean Trouble for Your Heart
For many people, drinking coffee is an essential part of the morning routine. You may need a cup, or two, or even more than that to kick-start your day and maybe another cup or two to get through the afternoon. If that sounds familiar, and you tend to keep yourself caffeinated all through the day to function at your best, you might be taking a big chance with your health. New research suggests that heavy consumption of coffee is associated with a greater likelihood of developing heart problems.
The study, which was conducted at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, found that drinking six cups of coffee or more per day may increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.1Zhou, Ang and Hypponen, Elina. “Long-term coffee consumption, caffeine metabolism genetics, and risk of cardiovascular disease: a prospective analysis of up to 347,077 individuals and 8368 cases.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 6 March 2019. Accessed 5 June 2019. http://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/109/3/509/5369955?redirectedFrom=fulltext. These results are based on an investigation that included nearly 350,000 United Kingdom residents between the ages of 37 and 73. The subjects who reported consuming the largest quantity of coffee each day, which was six or more eight-ounce cups (95 mg of caffeine per cup), had a 22 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with heart disease than their peers who consumed one to two cups a day.
I Don’t Drink Too Much Coffee In A Day
At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, who drinks six cups of coffee every day? This doesn’t apply to me. But that’s where it gets a little tricky, because even if you’re only having three cups a day, you might be drinking the equivalent of six. The average cup of coffee as used in the study contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, but a drip-brewed coffee may have as much as 200 milligrams in a single cup.
What’s more, the 95 milligram average is based on an eight-ounce cup. However, many mugs commonly used do not max out at eight ounces but instead are designed to hold 12 ounces, leading to quite a bit more coffee consumption by the end of the day. Not to mention what you may be getting if you prefer to get your coffee a few times a day from your local barista rather than making it yourself. Is Starbucks your go-to coffee place? A grande medium roast packs a whopping 375 milligrams of caffeine per serving, so two of those in a day easily puts you over the 570 mg benchmark set in the study.
Weigh the Risks and Benefits of Coffee Drinking
If you are something of a coffee addict, don’t despair. While this is not exactly great news, it certainly doesn’t mean you have to give up drinking your java altogether. This research serves as a good reminder that moderation is key when it comes to many things we enjoy.
Coffee has been shown to offer plenty of benefits, including protecting your liver from damage, helping prevent rosacea, and contributing to a longer lifespan. But you can get these advantages by consuming far less than six cups worth of coffee a day. And keep in mind that excessive coffee drinking is also linked to insomnia, stomach upset, and increased heart rate, as well as the new findings on cardiovascular disease. So, cut back if your consumption is on the high end, even if you have to do it a little at a time to avoid headaches and other withdrawal symptoms.
Consider Drinking Black Tea Instead of Coffee
If you like the little pick-me-up coffee provides in the morning, consider drinking black tea instead. You will get the caffeine boost, but on a smaller scale at approximately 60 milligrams per cup. Or alternate between tea and coffee. And consider why you need that mug of joe so desperately to start your day. Is it because you’re not getting sufficient sleep? If you can address that by shifting your schedule to get to bed a little earlier at night or using a white noise machine or making a list of everything you need to do to get it off your mind before bed, you might be able to cut down your consumption of coffee considerably.
|↑1||Zhou, Ang and Hypponen, Elina. “Long-term coffee consumption, caffeine metabolism genetics, and risk of cardiovascular disease: a prospective analysis of up to 347,077 individuals and 8368 cases.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 6 March 2019. Accessed 5 June 2019. http://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/109/3/509/5369955?redirectedFrom=fulltext.|