There has been worries that consumption of caffeine leaves one at a high risk of heart diseases. As it happens, there are several factors that come into play. In fact, if you drink anywhere near four or five cups of coffee or tea daily, you’re not at any risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Research has shown that this amount is safe and does not necessarily negatively impact your heart health, cholesterol level or even heart rate.
Caffeine’s effect on heart health has been found to be reliant on some factors that do not necessarily include excessive caffeine intake. For instance, drinking coffee increases blood pressure. However, this effect does not last long. It also gets less intense the more you get used to drinking caffeinated drinks. This means that some people may be more susceptible to suffering effects to their hearts than others when the same amount of caffeine has been taken. Some are a tad bit more sensitive and can experience palpitations from a couple of coffee cups. For people like these, excessive caffeine does affect their heart health.
Common sources of caffeine include coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and chocolate. Where and how you get your caffeine may also have an effect on the kind of impact caffeine has on your heart. For instance, if you usually take your coffee with cream, whole milk, syrups and sugar, you are exposing yourself to calories and saturated fats that can encourage weight gain and increase the cholesterol levels in your body. On the other hand, unsweetened coffee taken with skimmed milk improves your heart health.
400mg of caffeine daily is the recommended amount for a person who has no existing heart health issues. This is equivalent to four cups of coffee, or 10 cups of black tea. This is an amount that researchers term to be safe, with no lasting effect on blood pressure and no risk of heart attack or stroke. People who have existing or who have ever experienced heart health problems such as a heart attack or heart disease should keep their daily caffeine intake at 200mg.
Generally, coffee and tea are great sources of caffeine because they also contain disease-fighting antioxidants which will improve your health so long as you do not counter these benefits by using too much sugar and cream. Soda on the other hand is one of the least healthy caffeine sources. It contains high amounts of caffeine, sugar and lots of other unhealthy additives in a single serving.
Scientific studies that have been carried over time to determine the link between caffeine and heart health may seem to be a little conflicting.
Some studies show that frequent intake of caffeine may lead to aortic stiffness, where the aorta becomes less flexible and increases risk of cardiovascular disease. Other studies show that caffeine can help prevent atherosclerosis, whereby plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries, obstructing normal blood flow. However, newer studies from the Queen Mary University of London in the UK show that people who drink a significant amount of coffee each day do not actually exhibit arterial stiffness.
Excessive caffeine may after all not have much of an effect to our heart health as previously believed.