Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it bad to drink coffee in the mornings everyday?"
I want to know from an expert.
Thank you for your interesting and (highly stimulating!) question. I would recommend that you speak with your primary care physician for more information about stimulants like caffeine. As more than 150 million Americans drink coffee on a daily basis and more than 90% of people globally consume some form of caffeine daily, there have been a great deal of studies devoted to understanding its positive and negative effects on the human body. The short answer to your questions is: "probably not, but it depends on the dose." The data that we have thus far suggest that it is safe for the average adult to consume up to 400mg of caffeine daily. Your average cup of brewed coffee has about 130mg. Caffeine has numerous short-term benefits, including increased cognitive alertness, improved reaction time, and heightened athletic performance. Moderate doses of caffeine can often counteract the effects of sleep deprivation or jet lag. High doses of caffeine, however, can cause negative side effects such as headache, tremulousness, anxiety, and insomnia (impacted by the timing of consumption, of course). In susceptible individuals, very high doses may also cause irregular heart rhythms. For regular coffee drinkers who suddenly cease consumption, caffeine withdrawal syndrome may set in. This is characterized by increased fatigue, irritability, headache, and difficulty concentrating. Finally, of great intrigue are long-term studies that have shown that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, type 2 diabetes, and gout. There will undoubtedly be many further studies to come about caffeine, but until then one's decision to drink caffeine should take into consideration some of the pros and cons outlined above. As mentioned above, it is always a good idea to speak with your primary care physician if you have any questions like these.
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