Is Coffee Addictive? Health Benefits & Risks of Coffee.

Every morning, millions of Americans wake up and begin their day with a cup of coffee. It’s not uncommon to hear coffee drinks say they can’t even start their day without their caffeine fix. Whether they make it in their kitchen, or they stop at Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to work, coffee is a staple part of culture in the United States.

What fuels this reliance on coffee to get people moving every day? Is coffee addictive? How much coffee is too much? Are there any health benefits to coffee? We’ll dive into each of these questions individually.

Is Coffee Addictive?

The primary active chemical in coffee is caffeine. How much caffeine is in coffee? On average, coffee contains 95mg of caffeine per serving. Caffeine acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system, hence its benefits to people trying to get an energy boost. While caffeine does have the potential to produce mild dependancies, it’s not considered to be an addictive substance in the same way as illicit drug are. The reason for this is because dependency on coffee or caffeine doesn’t produce consequences for your physical or economic health, or cause damage to interpersonal relationships.

How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

While coffee (and caffeine) don’t typically produce health consequences, this is under the assumption they’re not being consumed in excess. It is recommended that the average adult doesn’t exceed 400mg of caffeine each day, which is equivalent to roughly 4 cups of coffee. It’s also recommended children do not drink coffee. You’ll know when you’ve exceeded your body’s tolerance for coffee if you start experiencing these symptoms:

  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Heightened Heart Rate
What Are The Health Benefits Of Coffee?

There have been numerous theories concerning coffee’s health benefits over the years. There have even been theories over the years that coffee can cause stunted growth and heart disease. However, in recent years, the tide of consensus has turn towards the positive – recent evidence supports coffee having numerous health benefits.

Studies have shown that coffee may protect against several common diseases, including liver disease, liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 Diabetes, and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed an inverse relationship between coffee and liver disease, cancer, and even suicide. Furthermore, overall mortality rate was reduced, and longevity increased in those who drink coffee regularly.

What Are the Health Risks of Coffee?

Coffee is generally considered safe for healthy adults. It is recommended that healthy adults to not exceed 400mg of caffeine, which translates to just about 4 cups of coffee. This doesn’t hold true for all demographics – it is the recommendation of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that women who are currently pregnant limit their daily caffeine intake to 200mg each day, or about 2 cups of coffee. Children also shouldn’t consume coffee.

As mentioned before, people who consume more coffee than their bodies can handle may experience side effects such as migraine, insomnia, irritability, nausea, tremors, or increased heart rate.