If you’re on your third cup of coffee for the day and feeling the jitters then don’t worry – you’ve still got room for three more. Six is the magic number that pushes coffee to a point where it’s detrimental to your health, according to the latest research from the University of South Australia.
The first-time findings claim that once you go six cups or more, you’ll immediately increase your chances of heart disease by 22 percent. This study on the long term effects of coffee consumption in relation to cardiovascular disease was headed by UniSA researchers Dr Ang Zhou and Professor Elina Hyppönen of the Australian Centre for Precision Health. More specifically the study confirms that this is the point in which excess caffeine causes high blood pressure – a precursor to heart disease.
“Coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world – it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us focus – but people are always asking ‘How much caffeine is too much?’,” Professor Hyppönen says.
“Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseas – 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.”
“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.”
The research was conducted with a pool of 347,077 participants aged between 37 and 73 years-old. “An estimated three billion cups of coffee are enjoyed every day around the world,” Prof Hyppönen adds.
“Knowing the limits of what’s good for you and what’s not is imperative. As with many things, it’s all about moderation; overindulge and your health will pay for it.”