Coffee: How Much Should You Drink a Day? Too much can cause ‘negative health effects’

According to Sophie Medlin, Doctify nutritionist and director of CityDietitians, most of us think of caffeine as soon as we think of coffee, but it has some amazing health benefits beyond its ability to help us feel awake. than. “Particularly in women, moderate coffee intake has been shown to reduce the risk of death from leading causes such as heart disease,” she explains.

And coffee is believed to have a positive effect on our brain health.

Medlin continues: “Coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, although studies are ongoing.

“Unsurprisingly, moderate coffee intake also positively contributes to energy levels, giving us a pre-exercise energy boost.”

Drinking coffee has associated risks, although this tends to be only in certain groups or when it is consumed in excess.

“For people living with anxiety and panic disorders, moderate to high caffeine intake can worsen existing symptoms,” says Medlin.

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“Another at-risk group is pregnant women as high caffeine intake has been linked to complications such as low birth weight, the maximum recommended daily level is 200mg in the UK.

“Consuming too much coffee can have a huge effect on our sleep and make it difficult to not only doze off but maintain high-quality sleep throughout the night.”

So how much should you drink a day?

The maximum recommended daily caffeine intake is between 300-400mg, an average cup of coffee contains 80-100mg of caffeine.

This means that about three to four cups of coffee a day maximum is within safe limits.


But Medlin warns: “You may also be getting caffeine from other sources you may not be aware of, such as chocolate and sugary drinks.

“In general, intakes above 600 mg are associated with negative health effects such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and irritability.”

So when can coffee negatively affect your health?

If you feel like you’re drinking too much coffee, you may already be experiencing symptoms like headaches, irritability, chest tightness and trouble sleeping, says Medlin.

“Everyone is different, and you may find that even a low amount of caffeinated coffee can cause such symptoms, or you may tolerate a higher amount.

“If you want to cut back on your coffee intake, it’s best to do it slowly and in phases.

“You can choose decaf more often, replace your coffee with another low-caffeine beverage (juice, herbal tea, etc.), or avoid coffee later in the day.”

For most of us, drinking coffee in the morning to mid-afternoon will have the strongest and intended effects (such as alertness).

This is because the cycle of the hormone cortisol peaks and troughs at certain times of the day, it is thought that it’s best to drink coffee/caffeine when your cortisol levels are low.

Medlin adds: “Although there’s no research to confirm this, it’s best to drink your coffee mid-to-late morning, not right after you wake up.”

And what is the best coffee to drink?

Hot brewed coffee contains higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew, and it also contains less caffeine on average, says Medlin.

“Decaffeinated coffee is also a popular choice, which offers very similar health benefits although it will often contain small amounts of caffeine.

“Additives to coffee like sugar, whipped cream, syrups, etc. will all affect the nutritional content of your coffee.

“In terms of roasts, it’s a myth that dark roasts contain more caffeine. Yellow/pale roasts actually tend to contain higher levels of caffeine.”

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