How many cups of coffee begin to affect heart health?
You’ve just finished your 4th cup of coffee for the day. How is that affecting your heart health? How many cups of coffee are considered “safe” before it begins to influence heart functioning?
These are important questions to ask since over 50% of Americans or 150 million daily coffee drinkers over 18 years of age drink coffee every day. This data is from the National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America annual survey regarding coffee consumption each year. We love our coffee so much that Americans drink over 400 million cups of coffee each day – this includes not only regular coffee but also specialty coffees such as a mocha, latte, espresso, café mocha, cappuccino, frozen/iced coffee beverages, etc.
It’s a safe bet to say, Americans love their coffee. But how much is too much for good heart health? Is there a limit to how many cups of coffee you should consume each day?
A new study out of Australia finds that drinking 6 or more cups of coffee each day can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22%. More than 340,000 people were included in this research ranging in age from 27-73. Coffee consumption of each person was calculated and identified risk factors for heart disease were also included. What the research found was that the upper limit for safe coffee consumption is fewer than 6 cups per day. The purpose of the study was to explore the ability of the caffeine-metabolizing gene to better process caffeine, identifying increased risks of cardiovascular disease in line with coffee consumption and genetic variations.
One study author, professor Elina Hypponen, stated that “In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day – based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk.”
What this boils down to is the number of cups of coffee you drink per day that is considered safe for heart health is all about moderation. Overindulge and your health (and heart) will pay for it.
Most of us would agree that drinking a lot of coffee can lead to jitteriness, irritability or even feeling nauseated. Caffeine in coffee can increase blood pressure, a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption.
The main take away from this study is that you don’t have to give up your cup(s) of daily coffee. But knowing the limits of what’s good for you and what’s too much is important. Most of us can enjoy coffee in moderation but be aware of the health risks if you are over consuming of what is safely recommended.