Coffee is the world’s most popular beverage and people get drawn to it because of the taste, aroma or stimulating effect. According to statistical reports from the 2018/2019 fiscal year, in the U. S. alone people consumed almost 26.5 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee, which is far much more than they consumed the previous year. It’s undeniable that coffee has some potential health benefits including maintaining the brain’s health, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and liver diseases. But there is a limit to how much coffee you should be consuming. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that drinking six or more cups of coffee daily increases the risk of heart disease by up to 22 percent. So, how much coffee is too much in a day?
What Amounts Are Considered safe?
You might be thinking that you need to limit your coffee intake, but first, you need to consider if you have noticed any particular sensitivities to caffeine. All coffee drinkers fall in any of these groups.
Hypersensitive: The type of people in this group become reactive to small amounts of caffeine, even one cup can cause insomnia, accelerated heartbeat, and jitters. Plus, individuals under this group don’t get any health benefits mentioned above.
Normal: A good number of coffee drinkers lie under this group. Here, one can take up to 400mgs of caffeine daily without showing any side effects. All the health benefits of coffee are shown to be working for people with normal sensitivity.
Hypo-sensitive: Out of ten people, one of them is hypo sensitive to caffeine meaning they can take massive doses and not show any side effects at all. Such people might be taking it too far with coffee which isn’t good for their health.
After knowing where you fall in these groups, now you should take medication use into consideration as well. If coffee isn’t interacting well with your medication then it’s time you take a step back. Below are the recommended amounts of coffee people under different categories should be taking but you can speak with your doctor as well.
Experts say that consumption of up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily is safe for adults. That’s around four cups of coffee (not giant mugs). By following this, you’re assured of ripping the health benefits of coffee intake.
Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers
Pregnant or breastfeeding women tend to avoid caffeine because the baby’s metabolism can barely handle it. Also, some mothers have concerns about coffee drinking when pregnant since they say it can lead to adverse birth outcomes and therefore the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest only a moderate intake of caffeine during pregnancy, less than 200 milligrams daily.
There is not enough information about caffeine use in children, but limiting or avoiding it is probably best. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system thus making the child’s brain more sensitive to caffeine than adults. Consequently, it can result in anxiety, hyper-reaction, or affect the sleeping patterns of the kid.
Side Effects of Overconsumption of Coffee
You might not get any side effects from drinking less than 250 mg of coffee daily. But drinking above six cups of coffee daily then you’re prone to having side effects. What causes the side effects is the stimulating property of coffee that brings an alarming feeling. Taking large amounts of coffee can cause irritation, sleeplessness, trigger anxiety and cause diarrhea. Other major side effects include:
- Addiction: With coffee, forming a habit is quite easy. In terms of addiction, studies classify it to have similar effects on the body as cocaine and amphetamines. Additionally, it can lead to psychological or physical dependency, especially at high doses.
- Cause high blood pressure: Generally, large amounts of caffeine don’t increase the risk of stroke in people, but it raises blood pressure due to stimulatory effects on the nervous system.
- Digestive issues
- Frequent urination
- Muscle breakdown
Reducing your coffee intake at once isn’t advisable because it can give you headaches, make you crabby, cause muscle aches and make you feel miserable. Although the withdrawal symptoms pass after a few weeks, you might want to do it gradually until you’re over it completely. Alternatively, you can go for light to moderate consumption which is beneficial to the body and doesn’t require you to cut off coffee entirely. Basically, what you need to do is exercise moderation just like with many other things. Just know that above six cups of coffee a day is the tipping point where the caffeine starts to negatively affect your cardiovascular health.
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