A morning cup of coffee is a ritualistic beverage for many of us. Coffee, whether you enjoy it black, cold brew, or as a latte, is a great way to start the day every day. And you may be questioning whether or not this is a healthy element of your regular routine. Lorraine Kearney, RD, CDN, CEO of New York City Nutrition, provided us with expert knowledge about the effects of regular coffee drinking on health.
Coffee’s Health Benefits
Coffee is produced from roasted and ground coffee beans, regardless of the brewing method. It has caffeine, flavonoids, and some minerals like magnesium.
For years, coffee was considered a possible carcinogen. But now, many studies and experts have linked it having potential health benefits. “Coffee is rich in antioxidants, a natural stimulant that may enhance cognitive function, concentration, and alertness,” said Kearney. She added that some studies have suggested that regular coffee consumption might be linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.
Coffee’s Dangers To Your Health
The main thing to be aware of with coffee is its stimulant, caffeine. According to Kearney, “the amount of caffeine in coffee can vary, depending on factors such as the type of coffee beans, brewing method, and serving size.” A typical cup of coffee can include between 95 and 200 mg of caffeine.
400 mg of caffeine per day is recommended by the FDA “as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.” However, the effects can differ from person to person and are contingent upon the individual’s sensitivity to caffeine and rate of metabolism.
According to Kearney, excessive coffee intake can cause headaches, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, spasms in the muscles, caffeine dependency, and problems absorbing calcium. Additionally, consuming too much caffeine might increase blood pressure and heart rate. She advises limiting or avoiding coffee use for those who suffer from medical ailments like acid reflux, cardiac problems, or anxiety disorders. It is recommended that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine daily.
Additionally, caffeine can be lethal. According to FDA estimations, consuming 1,200 mg of caffeine in a short period of time can have harmful effects like convulsions. A student with a cardiac problem who died after consuming Panera Bread’s caffeinated Charged Lemonade in 2023 led to a lawsuit against the company.
So, is daily coffee use healthy?
Ultimately, your own health and the amount of coffee you drink will determine whether or not it’s “healthy” to drink it every day. “It varies based on an individual’s tolerance to caffeine and how sensitive they are to its effects and how fast they metabolize it, but most people can safely consume it,” Kearney stated.
She suggests black coffee with little to no sugar, cream, or flavorings as a low-calorie choice.