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According to a 2013 survey, 83% of US adult population starts their day with coffee or consumes coffee at some other point during the day. That’s millions of people who swear by the sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. With consumption so high, it’s only natural that coffee-drinkers ask What Your Cup of Coffee is Doing to Your Heart.
What Is Coffee Doing To My Body, And More Specifically My Heart?
The main ingredient of coffee is caffeine, which can also be found in tea, soft drinks, some nuts, chocolate and energy drinks. It’s the caffeine that causes all the changes in our body when we drink coffee, so studies have been focused on trying to test its effect on the coronary system.
While there were some initial conflicting results, mostly due to the varied dietary factors of study participants, all scientists seem to agree on the fact that moderate consumption of one to two cups of coffee per day is in no way harmful.
Heart Benefits of Coffee
Newer studies have found that the effect of coffee is not only non-detrimental but is also beneficial. Coffee is no longer treated like a neutral player- it switched over to our team.
A Harvard University study conducted in 2015 found that drinking three to five cups of coffee per day makes you less predisposed to premature death from any cause. Additionally, you’ll be less likely to die from heart disease or stroke, compared to people with lower coffee consumption.
But that’s not the only favorable study: an analysis of 36 studies on coffee, with over a million patients included, published in 2013 found that moderate coffee-drinkers have a significantly lower likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Interestingly, the magic number of cups was again three to five.
An analysis from 2012 supports this claim, specifying that people who drink precisely four cups of coffee per day are least likely to suffer heart failure.
Specific Effects of Coffee on Your Heart
Though studies of coffee often revolve around caffeine, the positive effect of coffee cannot be attributed to it. Instead, the benefits of coffee for your heart are tied to the naturally-occurring compounds that can be found in coffee beans.
These unique phytochemicals help reduce inflammation, which is always a good thing and it’s especially good news when it comes to your heart, as an inflammatory component can be blamed for some cardiovascular diseases and conditions.
But What Does Caffeine Do To Your Heart?
Playing its part of a stimulant, it affects your heart and blood vessels directly, and blood pressure as a result. The Mayo Clinic has conducted a 12-year study on the relation of caffeine and blood pressure.
They have found that since it stimulates the heart and blood vessels, caffeine is likely to cause a short-term spike or increase in your blood pressure if you’re not a regular coffee-drinker. In fact, if you have high blood pressure, having four cups of coffee per day significantly increases your likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack.
However, the body does develop caffeine immunity over time, so this is not true for regular coffee-drinkers. In fact, they were found to be at no greater risk. So now you know What Your Cup of Coffee is Doing to Your Heart, practically nothing!!!!
The Heart Rhythm and Coffee
A common misconception on coffee is that it causes your heart to beat more irregularly. While it is true that caffeine overdoses can cause modifications in heart rhythms, the same cannot be said for all caffeine consumption.
Studies have found that drinking coffee has no negative effect on the regularity of your heartbeat and doesn’t raise the risk of having arterial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeats.
Not all bodies are the same, and however precise we can be in considering the effects coffee has on the cardiovascular system is marred by this fact.
It goes without saying that people with anxiety disorders should steer away from caffeinated drinks, coffee included, as it can negatively impact their symptoms and increase the risk of heart problems. Of course, they’re welcome to decaffeinated coffee- all the benefits, with none of the caffeine.
Genetic factors also play a big role in how a body processes substances, including caffeine. Some people metabolize caffeine slower, which increases their risk of suffering a heart attack when having the same amount of coffee as the person with the typical caffeine metabolization rates.
And it is also recommended for people who already suffer from heart arrhythmia to keep decaf coffee, in order not to rock the boat so to speak.
Recent studies have been encouraging for coffee-lovers, allowing them to enjoy their cup of coffee completely guilt-free. Yet, as not many studies are conclusive and many variants are up for consideration, moderation truly is key. Knowing What Your Cup of Coffee is Doing to Your Heart and controlling the amount of coffee consumption is the key.
Keep in mind that there are different factors at play that affect the way your organism processes coffee and reacts to it, such as your diet, weight, general health, genetics, etc.
As long as you’re not predisposed to heart conditions, coffee consumption will not have a negative impact on your heart, or so it seems.
Though a coffee-addict myself, I recommend not relying blindly on these studies and taking a more individualized approach. Listen to your body and what it tells you, and act accordingly.