Plug your ears if you basically hydrate with coffee and drink it throughout the day. A pair of new studies reveal that you should limit the amount of coffee you drink if you want a healthy heart. One study pegs it at no more than 4 cups, while another says 6. That may seem like overkill to some, but for those addicts who basically mainline the stuff, this is hard news to swallow.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and conducted by the University of Southern Australia, finds that more than half a dozen cups a day can be bad for your heart. Like, increasing your risk of heart disease by as much as 22% bad.
“Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous – that’s because caffeine helps your body work faster and harder, but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being,” said UniSA researchers Professor Elina Hyppönen of the Australian Centre for Precision Health.
“We also know that risk of cardiovascular disease increases with high blood pressure, a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption.
“In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day – based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk.”
Another new study published in European Journal of Epidemiology recommends even less coffee a day, around 2-4 cups. Researchers found this is the sweet spot for caffeine’s positive effect of boosting longevity. Researchers from Kyung Hee University and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health looked at 40 previous coffee-related studies, which analyzed more than 3.8 million individuals and 450,00 deaths. They concluded that the lowest risk was an intake of 3.5 cups per day for all-cause mortality, 2.5 cups a day for cardiovascular disease mortality, and 2 cups a day for cancer mortality, “while additional intakes were not associated with further lower mortality.”
Dr. Bob Arnot recently came out with a book called The Coffee Lover’s Diet, in which he examines all of these types of (potentially) confusing studies on coffee and its effects on our health. Not to mention, he and his team performed more than 40 studies to reach their own conclusion as to which beans and best.
Dr. Arnot emphasizes that the most important part of our coffee ritual is the level of polyphenols, the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich micronutrients that are also found in wine and green tea (and why there are so many studies that boast the positive effects of drinking both).
He suggests looking for 5 things when ordering coffee:
- Know Where Your Beans Come From: “The best regions are at high altitudes, have rich, volcanic soil, and are close to the equator.”
- Choose A Light Roast: “We roasted beans in five degree elements and found the lightest ones were the highest in polyphenols.”
- Don’t Get Distracted By The Brew Method: “Don’t let fancy terms distract you from where the coffee beans are coming from.”
- Choose Quality Over Quantity: “For some people, caffeine can make them jittery, anxious, or keep them up at night. It’s important to pay attention to your body to see how much makes you feel your best.”
- Don’t Dilute It: Sugars and creamers are all fine and good, but the more stuff you add, the lower the amount of polyphenols.
So enjoy that cup(s) of coffee. Just be smart about it, like everything else in life.