If there's one drink that Americans count on the most in the morning, it's coffee. Prepared black, with cream and sugar, over ice, or even frozen, drinking coffee has always been a big part of most people's working routine. Multiple studies have been researched on the beverage, and while some a beneficial, (like it may possibly protect against Parkinson's disease), it has always been argued in previous studies and left researchers conflicted that caffeine in coffee could increase heart disease.
That is until the British Heart Association concluded their new study and suggested that "drinking coffee, including in people who drink up to 25 cups a day, is not associated with having stiffer arteries". Say what, 25 cups of coffee a day?
Is It Safe To Drink 25 Cups of Coffee a Day?
The headlines are all over social media, sharing that "You Can Drink 25 Cups of Coffee A Day Without Harming Your Heart". However, these sorts of claims are only vaguely true and not to mention, irresponsible for coffee lovers.
First things first, the nitty-gritty of the study. The research, which was led by Professor Steffen Petersen of the Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute, was first presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Conference in Manchester and was partly funded by the British Heart Association. The study researched over 8,000 people in the UK who drank anywhere from less than one cup of coffee up to 25 cups of coffee to see if coffee consumption was related to increased stiffening of arteries.
After undergoing MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, the research showed that "no increased stiffening of arteries was associated with those who drank up to this high limit when compared with those who drank less than one cup a day." However, it does have to be noted that these tests were specifically looking at the stiffening of the arteries in coffee drinkers.
That being said, Dr Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis for the research at the Queen Mary University of London, shared that the average intake was 5 cups a day.
"Although our study included individuals who drink up to 25 cups a day, the average intake amongst the highest coffee consumption group was 5 cups a day. We would like to study these people more closely in our future work so that we can help to advise safe limits."
So technically for this study, drinking 25 cups of coffee a day didn't change the data they were specifically looking for, however, let's not conclude that drinking this amount of coffee every day is safe, and more so, enjoyable.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day is considered safe. This is about four cups of brewed coffee. Overconsumption of caffeine includes negative side effects such as insomnia, headaches, nervousness, an upset stomach, muscle tremors, restlessness and inability to control urination. Mix caffeine with certain medications (like ephedrine which is found in decongestants) and you are looking at an elevated risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even seizures.
These negative effects of coffee go past the threat of arterial stiffness and not to mention the amount of time and effort it would take to consume that much coffee. Forget heart health, this amount of coffee would require you to be constantly refilling your coffee pot.
Just stick to the three or four cups a day- and make sure to always read the entire study.