Am I Drinking Too Much Coffee?
Let’s be honest. We have all asked ourselves this question before: Am I drinking too much coffee? Most people are at least somewhat certain that coffee affects their body in some way. It helps us kick-starting the morning or to get that energy boost in the afternoons. But is there such a thing as “too much coffee”, and what does science have to say about consuming coffee anyway?
Many of us came across clickbait articles shared on Facebook, titled “32 ways coffee improves your health - you won’t believe #31” (where #31 is some random ad banner). Sure, this information is hardly credible. So let’s have a look at the results of some real studies.
Is coffee good for me?
The quick answer: Most definitely. It makes our life a lot better, and if consumed correctly - also the life of many others. But now back to the facts. Most studies usually investigate the effect of coffee on specific health aspects, such as blood pressure, cancer or cardiovascular health. Most studies suggest that coffee even has positive effects, which suggest lower overall mortality rates due to lower tendencies of developing neurodegenerative diseases, asthma, some gastrointestinal disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and even some types of cancer.
Given this evidence, we could conclude that coffee is indeed good for you. However, some studies suggest an association with coffee consumption and high blood pressure, so folks with a tendency to high blood pressure may want to limit their consumption.
How much coffee is too much?
Most studies conclude that 3-4 cups of coffee per day are harmless. That’s good news! At The Coffee Network, the daily average is more between 5-7 cups per day (and we are fine). However, if you have trouble falling asleep in the evening, try to replace your afternoon coffee with decaf options. While many coffee drinkers vehemently cringe and think “Decaf? This is not who I am!”, you may want to give it a go. We had the same opinion and actually never even tried decaf before - until we have received all those amazing samples from our partner roasters. I’ll be buggered were we wrong. There are some fantastic decaf options that go beyond the notion of “you won’t even taste it’s a decaf”. They actually are fantastic coffees!
Are those studies actually reliable?
All those scientific publications beg one question: Isn’t science heavily corrupted by coffee? Yes, it definitely is. Many long hours in the lab require extensive coffee consumption. It is safe to assume that many of those studies were written under the influence of caffeine. Coincidence? We don’t think so!
George, S. E., Ramalakshmi, K., & Mohan Rao, L. J. (2008). A perception on health benefits of coffee. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 48(5), 464-486.
Yao, L. H., Jiang, Y. M., Shi, J., Tomas-Barberan, F. A., Datta, N., Singanusong, R., & Chen, S. S. (2004). Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. Plant foods for human nutrition, 59(3), 113-122.
Butt, M. S., & Sultan, M. T. (2011). Coffee and its consumption: benefits and risks. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 51(4), 363-373.
Higdon, J. V., & Frei, B. (2006). Coffee and health: a review of recent human research. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 46(2), 101-123.
O'Keefe, J. H., Bhatti, S. K., Patil, H. R., DiNicolantonio, J. J., Lucan, S. C., & Lavie, C. J. (2013). Effects of habitual coffee consumption on cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular health, and all-cause mortality. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 62(12), 1043-1051.