Is Coffee Good To Your Heart? Medical Experts Offer Their Opinions.
It’s best enjoyed in moderation, like with most things in life.
For many people, coffee is an essential component of their daily routine. Coffee delivers an energy boost that just about everyone can enjoy, whether you need a cup to launch your morning or a mug to help you through an afternoon slump. However, if you’ve ever experienced an increase in heart rate or palpitations after drinking a cup of coffee, you might be wondering if it’s doing more damage than good to your general heart health. To assuage your fears, we spoke with a number of experts who described the benefits of coffee and how to tell if you’re drinking too much of it.
Antioxidants can be found in coffee
While you may drink coffee for the caffeine, it serves a purpose other than getting you out of bed in the morning. “Coffee is extraordinarily high in antioxidants, notably hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols,” explains Rachel Brief, a registered dietitian at Culina Health. “Antioxidants are fantastic because they reduce and prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer and other disorders.” Antioxidant-rich foods and beverages have also been related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to Brief, research shows that coffee is one of the best sources of antioxidants that humans drink on a regular basis.
It can aid in the prevention of heart disease
Coffee contributes to the reduction and prevention of diseases such as some cancers, heart disease, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes due to the components it contains, including as antioxidants and many B vitamins. Coffee is especially good to heart health, according to Brief, as the beverage is contributes to lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. While this may come as a surprise to some, because caffeine and coffee are generally linked to higher heart rate and palpitations, the American Heart Association discovered that persons who drank more coffee had a lower long-term risk of heart failure in three trials.
Coffee boosts your endurance
Exercise gives you a slower heart rate and reduced blood pressure, so the caffeinated beverage is a wonderful method to make your fitness regimen more successful, which could benefit heart health. Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, MD, the West Coast regional medical director at One Medical, adds that caffeine can help in muscle shifting to burn fat and boost muscle endurance. She notes that aerobic activities, such as long-distance running and biking, as well as strength training and high-intensity sports, appear to benefit the most from caffeine. A recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicated that consuming coffee 30 to 60 minutes before aerobic activity can enhance the amount of fat burned during your workout, according to Dr. Bhuyan. The cerebral clarity that coffee provides can help promote endorphins and improve concentration during workouts, according to Brief.
It’s best to drink it in moderation
Coffee, like most things in life, is best consumed in moderation. While the beverage has a number of documented health benefits, it may be dangerous to persons who have high blood pressure, sleeplessness, or who have jitters or heart palpitations when they consume it. According to Dr. Bhuyan, the maximum caffeine dosage suggested by the Food and Drug Administration is 400 mg per day (four to five cups of coffee). “Because coffee is a stimulant, it can elevate your resting heart rate and be harmful at excessive doses,” she explains.
What about caffeine
Caffeine in coffee has a distinct effect on various people. For someone who doesn’t notice symptoms like jitters or heightened anxiety, many cups of coffee a day may be fine, according to Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN. “Those who experience increased sensitivity after drinking coffee should limit their intake to one cup per day, or drink decaf coffee more frequently than regular,” she suggests. If you have high blood pressure, Rifkin recommends talking to your doctor about how much coffee you should drink, as it could be harmful to your health.
Coffee that is black is ideal for your general health
If you want to get the most out of your coffee, Rifkin recommends drinking it black, without any sugars, milk, or flavorings. “Coffee has a wide range of health benefits on its own,” she continues. “However, most people don’t drink coffee black, preferring to dilute its health benefits with sugar and cream.” Brief suggests adding cinnamon or cacao to the coffee grounds before boiling a pot to add a modest sense of flavor (and some extra antioxidants!) to the beverage if you want it sweeter. “There is also a slew of new dairy-free and plant-based creamers on the market that are delicious—and low in sugar and fat,” she adds.