Do you love your morning cup of coffee but fear that it could be harmful to your health? If so, you’re not alone. Researchers have been studying the effects of caffeine on the heart and overall health for years. Follow these guidelines to learn more about the effects of caffeine on your heart and ensure your coffee or cola habit isn’t hindering your heart health.
What are the effects of caffeine on your heart and health?
Research shows that up to 400 mg of caffeine a day is safe for most average size adults. That equals about two cups of coffee or 10 cola drinks a day.
So long as you’re not exceeding two cups, researchers have found the caffeine in coffee to have some heart-healthy effects. Coffee contains phytochemicals that can reduce inflammation. Because inflammation in the heart can cause heart failure and atherosclerosis, finding ways to reduce it is important. Other research has shown that caffeine can act as an antioxidant, which could reduce your risk for diabetes.
More research needs to be done to confirm the exact benefits of caffeine on the heart. However, if you are a moderate caffeine drinker — rest easy in knowing that limited caffeine won’t harm your heart.
How much caffeine is harmful for you?
Consuming more than 400 mg of daily caffeine can cause harmful side effects. More than four cups of coffee a day can raise blood pressure, increase stress levels and increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke. This is especially true for people who are not used to consuming large amounts of caffeine.
Are there any groups or types of people who should avoid caffeine altogether?
We advise children and adolescents to avoid caffeine completely. With just a moderate amount of caffeine, children can experience headaches, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, an elevated heart rate, upset stomach, anxiety and high blood pressure. Additionally, because of their body size, kids can feel the effects of caffeine up to six hours after consuming it.
If you suffer from anxiety, develop heart palpitations or feel increasingly anxious when you drink caffeine, reducing or eliminating your caffeine intake can help you feel better. Even in moderation, caffeine can cause these heart disease symptoms, especially for people prone to anxiety.
Learn more about your risk for heart disease
Reach out to your doctor for additional questions about your caffeine intake the effects of caffeine on your heart. If you need a primary care physician or would like to schedule a heart screening, the Mercy Health team can help. Call 513-952-5000 to schedule an appointment today.
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