For many of us, a morning cup of coffee is an important ritual. Whether you take yours black, prefer cold brew, or like to sip on a latte, coffee marks the start of your day—every day. And you might be wondering just how healthy this part of your daily routine is. Lorraine Kearney, RD, CDN, and CEO of New York City Nutrition, gave us expert insight into daily coffee consumption and its health impacts.
The Health Benefits Of Coffee
No matter how it's brewed, coffee is extracted from roasted and ground coffee beans. It contains some nutrients like magnesium, along with polyphenols and caffeine.
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.
The Health Risks Of Coffee
Caffeine, a stimulant, is the primary concern when it comes to coffee. "Caffeine content in coffee can vary, depending on factors such as the type of coffee beans, brewing method, and serving size," said Kearney, adding that a standard cup can contain anywhere from 95 to 200 mg of caffeine.
The FDA cites 400 mg of caffeine per day "as an amount not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects." But its impact can vary from person to person, and it depends on how sensitive they are to caffeine and how fast they can metabolize it.
Kearney said that high coffee consumption could lead to anxiety, digestive issues, muscle tremors, headaches, caffeine dependency, and interference with calcium absorption. And excessive caffeine can raise one's heart rate and blood pressure. She recommends people with medical conditions such as heart problems, acid reflux, or anxiety disorders to limit or avoid coffee. Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine to 200 mg per day.
Caffeine can also have fatal consequences. The FDA estimates that rapid consumption of around 1,200 mg of caffeine can lead to toxic effects like seizures. In 2023, Panera Bread was sued when a student with a heart condition died after drinking its caffeinated Charged Lemonade.
So, Is It Healthy To Drink Coffee Every Day?
Whether or not it's "healthy" to drink coffee every day ultimately comes down to your individual health and how much you're drinking. "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," said Kearney.
For a low-calorie option, she recommends black coffee with minimal sugar, cream, or flavorings.
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