Coffee: how many cups tip us from safe to too much?

Many of us depend on a morning coffee to start our day. It’s one of the most widely consumed stimulants worldwide and when drunk black it is generally considered to be safe or even beneficial for health. But how much is best, still safe, or when does it become potentially harmful is a question open to often heated debate.

Now research from the University of South Australia reveals that drinking six or more coffees a day can be detrimental to our health, increasing the risk of heart disease by up to 22 per cent. Indeed, researchers believe their study confirms the point at which excess caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease, establishing for the first time an upper limit on safe coffee consumption and cardiovascular health.

Most people can easily identify the signs they are overdosing on coffee: feeling hyper, irritable or perhaps even nauseas. If you feel any of these symptoms, it suggests you are exceeding your limit. It may also be putting you at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD risk increases with high blood pressure, which is a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption, so to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, it’s certainly best to limit coffee intake to fewer than six cups a day, the researchers tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk.

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