How healthy is it to drink coffee every day?
For many of us, our morning cup of coffee is an important ritual. Whether you drink black coffee, prefer cold brew, or just sip a latte, coffee is the start of your day – every day. You may be wondering how healthy this part of your daily routine is. Lauren Kearney, RD, CDN and CEO of New York City Nutrition, gave us expert insight into daily coffee consumption and its health effects.
Health benefits of coffee
Regardless of how it is prepared, coffee is extracted from roasted and ground coffee beans. It contains some nutrients such as magnesium, along with polyphenols and caffeine.
For many years, coffee was considered a possible carcinogen. But now, many studies and experts have linked it to potential health benefits. “Coffee is rich in antioxidants, a natural stimulant that may enhance cognitive function, focus and alertness,” Kearney said. She added that some studies indicate that regular coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of some types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Health risks of coffee
Caffeine, the stimulant, is the main concern when it comes to coffee. “The caffeine content of coffee can vary, depending on factors such as the type of coffee bean, brewing method, and serving size,” Kearney said, adding that a standard cup can contain between 95 to 200 mg of caffeine.
The FDA notes that 400 mg of caffeine per day is “an amount not generally associated with serious adverse effects.” But its effect can vary from person to person, depending on how sensitive they are to caffeine and how quickly they metabolize it.
Kearney said that consuming large amounts of coffee can lead to anxiety, digestive problems, muscle tremors, headaches, caffeine dependence, and interference with calcium absorption. Excessive caffeine can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. She recommends that people with medical conditions such as heart problems, acid reflux or anxiety disorders limit or avoid coffee intake. Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day.
Caffeine can also have serious consequences. The FDA estimates that rapid consumption of about 1,200 mg of caffeine can lead to toxic effects such as seizures. In 2023, Panera Bread was sued when a student with a heart condition died after drinking caffeinated lemonade.
So, is it healthy to drink coffee every day?
Whether drinking coffee every day is “healthy” or not ultimately depends on your individual health and the amount you drink. “It varies based on an individual’s tolerance to caffeine, how sensitive they are to its effects, and how quickly they metabolize it, but most people can consume it safely,” Kearney said.
For a lower-calorie option, she recommends black coffee with minimal sugar, creamer or flavorings.