By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
Are You An Excessive Coffee Drinker? Here’s Why You May Want To Stop
There are many celebrities who are self-proclaimed coffee addicts. Famous stylist and fashion consultant Stacy London said she has to have about seven pints of coffee in the morning before she’s even “remotely awake.”
I stopped drinking coffee after discovering that I am a slow caffeine metabolizer. Caffeinated drinks in general make my heart rate increase and elevate my blood pressure.
One study found evidence which showed that people who were slow caffeine metabolizers increased their risk of heart attack by 36 percent if they drank two to three cups of coffee daily. Their risk increased to 64 percent if they drank four or more cups daily.
And now, a recent study suggests that excess coffee consumption may contribute to poor health in general. More specifically, excess coffee consumption may increase the risk of developing certain diseases such as osteoarthritis, arthropathy (any kind of joint disease) and obesity.
Researchers of the study examined data from more than 300,000 participants of the UK Biobank. They “...examined connections between genetically instrumented habitual coffee consumption and a full range of diseases,” according to one report discussing the study.
They actually looked to see if there was a connection between drinking excess coffee and 1,117 clinical conditions. Osteoarthritis, arthropathy and obesity seemed to be the conditions that showed some cause for concern when it came to drinking a lot of coffee.
"For people with a family history of osteoarthritis or arthritis, or for those who are worried about developing these conditions, these results should act as a cautionary message,” said one of the leads on the study.
"The body generally sends powerful messages with respect to coffee consumption, so it's imperative that individuals listen to these when consuming coffee.”
So if you don’t feel good (perhaps you feel anxious) after drinking coffee, listen to your body and consider taking a break to see if you feel better. More research is needed, and the study did not definitively determine that it is the caffeine in coffee that may be the culprit, but I think it’s important to address why people may drink so much coffee and seem to have caffeine addictions.
And as far as obesity is concerned, many coffee drinkers add sugar and calorie-rich creamers to their coffee. This can definitely contribute to weight gain over a period of time, especially if you are someone who drinks several cups a day.
The researchers consider six cups of coffee a day to be considered as the upper limit of safe consumption. That’s a lot of coffee! You may not be drinking six cups a day, however, you are likely drinking more than you may realize if you are a coffee drinker.
The proper pour for a cup of coffee is only four ounces. Most Americans drink about an eight ounce “cup” of coffee. So if you think you are having one cup of coffee, you are likely having about two.
The good news is if you love coffee, the study said that moderate coffee consumption appears to be safe.
In my opinion, if you drink more than two cups of coffee a day and can’t seem to function without it, this may be an issue that needs to be addressed.
For example, you may not be getting enough good quality sleep and that’s why you depend on your morning “Cup Of Joe” so much. And if you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks later in the day, this may disrupt your sleep.
If you get headaches if you don’t have your coffee, this is a sign you should also listen to. This is a sign of caffeine withdrawal, and you may be surprised to know that coffee may actually contribute to bad headaches.
“People prone to migraines may experience more headaches after coffee consumption (perhaps by effects on serotonin or brain electrical activity), but coffee itself, or the caffeine it contains, is not considered the actual cause of migraines. Certain foods or drinks like coffee are thought to trigger episodes of migraine, but the true cause is not known,” reports Harvard Health.
If you drink coffee, remember to hydrate, because coffee is a diuretic (meaning it makes you urinate more, which contributes to the loss of water and sodium in the body).
And as always, the best way to prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and arthropathy is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by working out regularly, eating healthily and avoiding smoking. Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all), and also drink your coffee in moderation.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.