There's nothing I love more than going out to my porch in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. There's something relaxing about my morning ritual. I have a feeling I'm not alone. According to Statista.com, 58% of Americans drink coffee to wake up.
I'm a big fan of all things in moderation; I drink two cups of coffee per day. Coffee isn't the only source of caffeine though. Americans drink millions of sodas and energy drinks per year. Let's take a look at the risks and benefits involved with consumption and discuss the perfect daily amount.
The Health Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine's health benefits are tied to the source of the caffeine. 80% of caffeine consumption comes from coffee. According to Everyday Health, as long as you drink coffee black, there are a number of benefits to caffeine, including:
- Increased brain function
- Decreased risk of heart problems
- Decreased risk of liver cancer
- Possible dementia prevention
Not only is caffeine a stimulant, it is also rich in antioxidants. As long as you get caffeine from the right source, such as tea and cocoa, it's all-natural.
The Health Risks of Caffeine
On the other hand, there are sugary sodas and energy drinks which are not good sources of caffeine. The sugar content poses an incredible health risk but not directly from caffeine itself. Caffeine only carries minor risks, including:
- Addiction and withdrawal
- Increase in pregnancy complications
However, according to Harvard Health, coffee consumption in particular can increase your risk of:
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
So coffee drinkers of the world, how do we know how much coffee is too much coffee?
The Proper Amount of Daily Caffeine
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults can safely ingest 400mg of caffeine per day. That's approximately 4 cups of coffee, so if you need your morning fix, rejoice! That amount can change depending on the amount of sleep you get, the medications you take, your body weight, and your personal tolerance. To figure out the right amount for you, try using this handy caffeine calculator.
All things in moderation. That's how I like to live. Caffeine isn't necessarily bad for you. After all, it comes from a number of all-natural sources. The key with coffee, as in life, is balance.