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Coffee: how much can I drink a day?

Coffee is a drink that is part of most people’s lives. It is often consumed first thing in the morning; sometimes after lunch or on that mid-afternoon “break” from work.

In fact, there are few people who have never bet on a cup of coffee to “scare away” sleep and tiredness, right?

However, when it comes to coffee, questions like: is this a healthy drink? Can everyone consume? And, above all, how much coffee is allowed per day?

If you are a lover of good coffee, you cannot miss the answers to these questions below!

Caffeine: benefits and harm to the body

Most people talk about the stimulating effect of coffee, which is due to the presence of caffeine.

Karina Valentim, nutritionist at PB Consultoria em Nutrição, explains that caffeine is a chemical compound, classified as an alkaloid, belonging to the xanthines group, being the best known component of coffee. “Its main effects that have scientific evidence are: stimulating effect on the central nervous system, sleep reduction and cardiac muscle stimulation”, she says.

The main benefits of caffeine, Karina points out, are:

  • Stimulation of the central nervous system (increasing the individual’s alertness).
  • Cardiac muscle stimulation.
  • Improved cognitive functionality.
  • Studies show that in experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, caffeine would have a neuroprotective effect.
  • Some in vitro studies have demonstrated the antioxidant activity of caffeine – which would make it a potential protector against the deleterious effects caused on the cardiovascular system.

On the other hand, some studies also suggest that regular coffee consumption may be related to the risk of hypertension, as explained by Karina. “However, the mechanism is not well established. Caffeine in the cardiovascular system is thought to produce an acute increase in cardiac output and vasoconstriction of the arteries – which could lead to elevated blood pressure,” she says.

In addition, adds the nutritionist, caffeine would act on adenosine hormone receptors, exerting an inhibitory action on this hormone, preventing it from acting as a blood pressure reducer. “However, it is worth mentioning that the results are conflicting, since factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol consumption and genetics can interfere with the results and increase the risk of hypertension”, she highlights.

In addition to coffee, caffeine is present in green tea, mate tea, cocoa (chocolate), cola or guarana-based soft drinks.

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?

Generally speaking, a cup (50 ml) of brewed coffee contains 25 mg to 50 mg of caffeine. One cup (50 ml) of espresso coffee contains 50 mg to 80 mg. It is worth mentioning that these values ​​may vary according to the formulation of the product.

For comparison: a cup (80 ml) of cappuccino contains 80 mg to 100 mg of caffeine and a can of cola contains 30 mg to 60 mg.

Risks of excess caffeine in the body

Knowing that caffeine is not only present in coffee, but also in other commonly consumed foods (such as tea, chocolate, etc.), it is worth paying attention to the fact that excess of this chemical compound can pose health risks.

According to Karina, one of the main symptoms of excess caffeine are insomnia and mental agitation. “The individual may still experience increased heart rate (rapid beats),” she says.

Excess caffeine can lead to increased diuresis (increased volume of urine), nausea, headaches, stomach pains and decreased bone density, adds the nutritionist.

What is the recommended daily amount of coffee?

Karina points out that there is no coffee/caffeine recommendation. “Moderate consumption of up to 3 cups per day in healthy people can be beneficial, with a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day,” she explains.

Coffee: disease prevention

Research shows that moderate coffee consumption by adults can be beneficial and has been linked to the prevention of chronic noncommunicable diseases. “Several studies show positive effects of caffeine on reducing glucose tolerance and increasing insulin sensitivity due to increased expression of GLUT-4 (a signaler of glucose entry into the cell)”, highlights Karina.

“Caffeine consumption in Brazil”, “The effect of caffeine on creatine kinase activity in tissues of diabetic rats” and “Acute treatment with caffeine and L-Arginine reduces glycemic levels in obese rats submitted to aerobic exercise” are some of the studies cited by the nutritionist.

Also according to Karina, other studies (Caffeine protects from amnesia and neuronal death in an experimental model of Alzheimer’s disease and Coffee: a drink rich in substances with important clinical effects, especially caffeine) show that, in experimental models of diseases neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, caffeine would have a neuroprotective effect.

Caffeine also for your beauty

It’s not just as a stimulant that caffeine works! The chemical compound has potent antioxidant power and thus helps to fight cellulite and localized fat, in addition to relieving dark circles. Well, the benefits that caffeine can offer with regard to women’s beauty are many, such as, for example, the stimulation of cell regeneration, blood circulation, rejuvenation and revitalization of the skin.

It is worth noting, however, that the ideal way to take advantage of the benefits that caffeine can offer to beauty is to use products prescribed by a dermatologist.

Caffeine x pregnancy

But can pregnant women also consume coffee? Or can caffeine pose risks to pregnancy?

Karina highlights that excess caffeine during pregnancy has shown some risks:

  • Reduction in fetal growth;
  • Prematurity;
  • Intrauterine growth restriction;
  • Miscarriage;
  • Malformations in the gestational period.

“Therefore, coffee intake by pregnant women must be guided and monitored by a doctor or nutritionist, following the history of each pregnancy”, concludes nutritionist Karina.

Now you know that, although some studies point out the benefits of coffee (especially due to the presence of caffeine), its consumption should be moderate. Otherwise, the drink can, yes, offer health risks.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.

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