How Many Coffees Should I Drink Per Day?

Coffee is a beverage a lot of us rely on to kick off our morning ritual, waking us up and go about our busy work days. Caffeine intake has been viewed as beneficial to health but also linked to higher anxiety levels and heart issues, so where do we stand with coffee? How many coffees should you drink per day? When we first looked at the research, there was some shocking evidence available!

In 2019, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming over six cups of coffee can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22%. According to their findings, six cups a day was the only point in which negative effects were demonstrated, meaning, fewer than six cups of coffee per day is safe for consumers. While that number of coffees sounds extraordinarily high, that’s what this research tells us. Additionally, a review in 2017 in the BMJ found that 3-4 cups of coffee per day was associated with risk reductions in areas including all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular disease. Overall, these results suggest that drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day may have beneficial health effects, with negative effects only occurring when drinking six or more cups of coffee per day.

Of course, everyone is different in terms of caffeine tolerance and we all know someone (or we are that someone) who reacts more strongly to even a small dose of caffeine. If you experience anxiety, a jittery feeling or tachycardia (fast heart rate) then maybe decaffeinated coffee or a herbal tea might be more suited to you.

If you are someone who drinks coffee regularly, and you’re a poor sleeper, remember that coffee late in the afternoon or evening may impact on your ability to fall asleep. Being well rested is very important to our health as has shown to have positive effects on heart health. It’s still advised that during pregnancy little to no caffeine is consumed because of its association with poorer pregnancy outcomes (low birth weight, preterm birth and miscarriage) as well as fracture risks. Coffee consumption in women who have inadequate dairy intake are also at an increased fracture risk.

Because we as Melbournians love our coffee, there will always be research conducted into this area. For now, we can summarise the previous research into some real, practical advice. If you’re a coffee drinker, 3-4 cups seems to be an appropriate amount of coffee to drink per day with it potentially being beneficial to our health. Any more than 5 cups may bring about adverse health effects and carry an inherently higher risk. Of course, it’s advisable to speak with a dietician to go over your specific situation.

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