Question: How much coffee is healthy?

Question and AnswerQuestion and Answer

Coffee lowers your mortality and morbidity risk in moderation.


Coffee not only tastes great, it lowers your risk of all-cause mortality. There reasons not to drink coffee so if your medical prover recommends against consumption, please steer clear. If not, enjoy your morning Joe and I am not talking about that liberal jerk on one of the news channels.

There is a lot of conflicting reports out there about how much coffee and many experts claim you should avoid it. The problem is that most of the research does not back that belief. I know your question is how much and that is not an easy answer. Normally, I would say moderation is key, but what is moderation when you are talking about coffee?

I would never doubt that you can drink too much coffee. Heck, there is such a thing as caffeine toxicity and I am sure you have experienced some of the initial symptoms when your heart pounded in your chest and raced at a high rate with that extra cup a few years ago.

I advise my patients to drink less than 6 cups of coffee per day. In general, 3-5 cups are safe for most unless your medical provider has suggested less based on your medical history. Then again, a cup is not that 44-ounce jug from the gas station. A cup of coffee is an 8-ounce cup.

Coffee can add what I call sneaky calories to your diet. Black coffee is the best option because it is essentially calorie-free. Sugar and creamer can pack in the calories. If you are trying to lose weight, just pass on the creamer and sweetener. In fact, black coffee has been shown to assist with weight loss.

The bottom line: A few cups of coffee per day is safe for most of us but I would recommend that you discuss it with a medical provider. In fact, research has proven that 3-5 cups are safe. You should pay attention to the amount of caffeine you drink because the toxicity is no joke. Also, avoid those empty calories if you are trying to lose weight.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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