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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Does Caffeine Affect Heart Health?

Posted By: Advancing Care

If a cup of coffee is your favorite part of the morning, you may be part of the 64 percent of Americans who enjoy caffeinated beverages on a daily basis. But can caffeine affect our heart health?

There is no clear evidence that drinking caffeine puts an otherwise healthy person at risk for a heart condition — some studies even suggest that consuming a moderate amount of caffeine is good for your heart. But overdoing it on caffeine can be risky, especially if you have an existing heart condition. 

caffeine and your heart

Caffeine and your heart

Generally speaking, a moderate amount of caffeine is safe, even for people with heart conditions. It’s important to know, however, that caffeine affects every person differently, and what’s right for you might not be right for someone else. 

“Some people are very sensitive to caffeine,” says 
Ellis Lader, MD, a cardiologist at WMCHealth’s HealthAlliance Hospital.“This means they may experience jitteriness, anxiousness or a racing heartbeat even after just one or two cups of coffee.” 

Caffeine can affect your sleep if you’re consuming it late in the day, as it can take four to six hours for your metabolism to process half of the caffeine in your body.

“Poor sleep health can cause numerous cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes,” says Dr. Lader. “So limiting your caffeine intake to the morning hours can help improve your sleep and therefore improve your heart health.” 

Ellis Lader, MD
Ellis Lader, MD

How much is too much?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s safe to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your obstetrician before consuming caffeine.

Here are the typical levels of caffeine in beverages:

  • Coffee: 80-100 milligrams per 8-ounce serving
  • Black or green tea: 30-50 milligrams per 8-ounce serving
  • Caffeinated soft drinks: 30-40 milligrams per 12-ounce serving
  • Energy drinks: 40-250 mg per 8-ounce serving

In addition, highly concentrated caffeine products often marketed as dietary supplements can be toxic or lethal. Just one teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine can have the same amount of caffeine as up to 28 cups of coffee. Consuming this amount of caffeine rapidly can result in serious health consequences, including seizures or even death. 

While caffeine is a substance to consume with caution, most people can still safely enjoy their morning cup of coffee or tea. 

“Remember, caffeine isn’t the only ingredient in coffee. There are also antioxidants and other substances that may reduce your risk of diabetes, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Lader.

Looking for some guidance on your heart health? Reach out to WMCHealth's Heart and Vascular Institute866.WMC.Heart (866.962.4327) or for Good Samaritan Hospital 845.368.5620.