When Does Coffee Become Unhealthy? (Important)

Women drinking coffee from black cup.

Coffee is undoubtedly one of the most convenient ways to keep yourself energetic and lively. It’s high in antioxidants and linked with the reduction of risk for many diseases.

The morning cup of coffee has become a part of many people’s morning routine. In many cases, people can go without their breakfast but not without coffee.

Despite having lots of positive sides, the health effects of the drink are quite controversial owing to the presence of caffeine.

Short answer: Coffee becomes unhealthy due to uncontrolled caffeine intake. Since caffeine is a stimulant, you can’t depend on coffee as a necessary fluid intake for the body. When the consumption of coffee reaches the tolerance and withdrawal remarks, it becomes unhealthy for the body.

This article takes a detailed dig over the topic and will be reviewing quite a lot of sections on the health effects of coffee of too much coffee on your body.

Keep reading!

Is Coffee Unhealthy?

a hand holding a cup of coffee

When coffee takes a toll on your body, it becomes unhealthy.

Coffee is a pure form of caffeine. Caffeine is a widely consumed psychoactive drug that can affect your neural activity.

The US Food and Drug Administration has revealed that a healthy individual can take up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.

For keeping the intake amount safe, it’s better to limit the consumption to 1-2 cups in a day. This amount of coffee may not damage your health but overdoing it beyond this can harm your body in the long run.

Thus, whether the coffee is unhealthy or not will depend on the amount you’re consuming on regular basis.

Adding sweeteners, creamers and sugary contents often adds to the total sugar and calorie content. Consider, having regular black coffee to reap the healthiest benefits from the drink.

Is Drinking Coffee Everyday Unhealthy?

No, drinking coffee every day isn’t unhealthy. In fact, drinking a healthy amount of coffee has a lot of benefits.

The problem causes when you’re not controlling the intake portion throughout the day.

The caffeine present in the drinks helps you in getting energized quickly and provides better endurance. This doesn’t allow you to sip into your cup of joe whenever you want. Constantly consuming caffeinated drinks such as coffee lead to caffeine dependence.

Moreover, too much coffee may hurt your digestive tract and cause heartburn. Overdosing on caffeine may cause irritation and anxiety as well.

This calls for moderate consumption of coffee. Stick to a certain boundary and it’s always wise to have at best 1-2 cups in a day.

What Are The Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee?

There can be several disadvantages of drinking coffee in certain circumstances. In general, coffee is a healthy source of antioxidants and helps in lowering the risk of various diseases.

Though most of the adverse side effects are the case of extreme cases, people with low caffeine tolerance tend to react even with a small dose of caffeine. This is because their body metabolizes slowly and takes twice as much to absorb the nutrients in the body.

The side effects of coffee are the side effects of either caffeine withdrawal or caffeine overdose.

Some of the most widely experienced advantages include:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Digestive issue
  • Anxiety
  • Caffeine allergy
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability

Most of these side effects are short-lived and will go away once you curb the consumption. However, people with heart diseases, on special supplements, or having histamine intolerance may suffer severely as coffee may trigger their underlying symptoms. You can read more about these side effects in this other article I wrote.

How Do You Know If Coffee Is Bad For You?

Even if the regular consumption of coffee can be beneficial, too much caffeine can have subtle side effects. If you’re wondering how to know whether coffee ie being friendly on your body or not, look for the following signs:

  1. You feel anxious and can’t sleep or concentrate
  2. Your stomach hurts all of a sudden
  3. You’re restless or nervous for no reason
  4. You want to vomit or have the urgency to vomit
  5. You feel uncomfortable with a headache
  6. You have got jitters
  7. You are feeling an irregular heartbeat
  8. You’re suffering from diarrhea

If you feel that your favorite cup of drink is behind these abrupt health concerns, decrease your intake slowly. Try to have one cup in the morning after breakfast or within the afternoon. Follow proper timing to have it and look for any other sources in your diet that may trigger the symptoms.

Can You Drink Coffee In Empty Stomach?

a sad looking plate with a knife and fork on it

Drinking coffee on empty stomach won’t do any good to you. Especially if you’re someone with a weak or upset stomach, the caffeinated drink may harm your digestive tract.

Many people tend to drink coffee as a part of their morning routine. Professor James Betts from the Centre of Nutrition, Exercise, and Metabolism at the University of Bath have suggested eating a healthy breakfast before gulping on your coffee cup.

When you don’t have any food for a long time, suppose during your night sleep, the stomach tends to secrete lots of acids. When you hit the stomach wall with the stimulant in your coffee, the stomach gets abruptly activated and starts to secrete more of the acids.

This not only harms your stomach linings but also messes with your circadian rhythm.

A healthy breakfast or meal is needed for:

  • Boosting energy level
  • Preventing fluctuations in blood glucose level
  • Restoring glycogen level

Without something more nutritious, coffee won’t fill up your body with a good metabolism.

You can watch this video to know more about what happens when you drink coffee on an empty stomach:

Watch out for this video for a better understanding.

Is Coffee Bad for Your Stomach?

Too much coffee can be bad for your stomach as it hits harder on your stomach and can exacerbate digestive issues.

Coffee is acidic. The presence of nine major acids in the coffee can cause inflammation in the stomach lining and produce more gastric acid. This causes belching and bloating in the stomach.

This is one of the reasons behind the onset of GERD and acid reflux.

Caffeine’s diuretic and laxative effect can also alter your excretion process by increasing the urgency. If you’re not careful, it can lead to too much excretion of calcium from your body and lead to diarrhea.

One of the most convenient ways to avoid this trouble is to switch to a darker roast. These types of beans are generally low in acids and you may also use acid reducers in the drink.

Is Coffee With Sugar Unhealthy? 

Coffee with sugar is relatively less healthy than coffee without it.

Many people don’t like the bold and bitter taste of coffee. As a result, they add sugar, syrup, or cream to the drink to get rid of the strong taste.

Sugar affects the nutritional value of coffee. Coffee itself is sugarless and calorie-free. Adding sugar to your coffee depletes its value.

The high amount of sugar not only overloads your liver but also affects your heart health. It can also raise your blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation. Not to mention, it also aids in promoting weight gain and disrupts your appetite control system.

A little bit of calories and sugar isn’t bad for your health. But try to obtain it from solid and healthy foods. You can add a bit of milk to your coffee to curb down the bitterness but avoid sugar completely.

Even if you use artificial sweeteners, they would satisfy your sweet tooth but won’t give any wonderful benefits to your health.

Is Coffee Bad For Women?

Pregnant women touching stomach
Pregnant women should skip coffee to prevent coffee-related issues.

Coffee doesn’t harm any individual when taken in moderate amounts.

However, consuming a dose of more than 200 milligrams may affect the estrogen level in women. This depends on individual factors like ethnic background, and health condition according to the National Institutes of Health.

Short-term variation in estrogen levels isn’t something harmful. Since variation in estrogen level is associated with certain health conditions in women, coffee can potentially influence the trigger signs for many concerns.

Also, in the case of pregnant women, coffee may affect the neurological functions of the mother and child. Their bodies are more receptive to caffeine and affect more tremendously to their coffee intake.

Is Coffee Bad For Your Anxiety?

Caffeine replicates the function of the neuromodulation adenosine. It binds with adenosine receptors in the brain and can affect the effects of adenosine.

Though coffee doesn’t directly affect anxiety but can surely worsen the side effects of anxiety or depression since caffeine is a neural stimulant. Large doses of caffeine lead to compulsive symptoms in your body and many cases associated with panic disorders as well.

This study on the Panic Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder Subtypes In A Caffeine Challenge test showed that people with anxiety disorder experience anxiety attacks more compared to healthy ones when a significant caffeine amount is ingested.

Look for the caffeine content in some popular coffee varieties. Drink one that provides a moderate dose of caffeine and doesn’t pile up on calories or sugar.

Coffee TypeServing SizeCaffeine (on average)
Regular Brewed Coffee8 ounce95 milligrams
Americano8 ounce77 milligrams
Instant Coffee8 ounce63 milligrams
Flat White 8 ounce 130 milligrams
Instant Coffee, chicory 8 ounce 51 milligrams
Cappucino 8 ounce 87 milligrams
A quick comparison between caffeine content of various popular coffee types.

When Should You Not Drink Coffee Anymore?

You should be caffeine-free at night to have a sound sleep. The best time to have your coffee is between mid to late morning or within the afternoon. During this period, your cortisol level remains low and the coffee may provide you with the best boosting effect.

Though you might feel that the effects of coffee wear off easily and you can have one more cup, think before having another one.

You should not have coffee after 4 p.m or most specifically any time after your afternoon schedule. Try to remain caffeine-free at least about 7-8 hours before bed as it may help you in getting proper rest.

Since caffeine is a diuretic, avoid it during long journeys and tours.

If you have any underlying medical condition especially related to allergy and heart disease, curb your consumption. Consult with your health care provider for any dietary changes. Choose milder caffeinated teas if needed.

Is Giving Up Coffee A Good Choice?

Honestly speaking, you don’t need to give up the whole drink just in fear of the withdrawal symptoms. Consider taking a moderate intake of caffeine in a day. Generally, 1-2 cups of coffee won’t have any troubling issues on your health.

Coffee provides several health benefits and is a natural source of antioxidants. In many reviews, science has approved up to 4 cups of coffee in a day.

However, how much coffee you should drink depends on your body. If you’re sensitive to caffeine consider cutting back.

Moreover, pregnant women, patients with arrhythmia and anxiety disorder, insomniacs, and elderly people must consider their health first before getting the caffeine fix.

Simply put, don’t quit coffee completely and limit your intake to at best 2 cups. If you still want something energetic, go for milder teas such as herbal tea or green tea.

How Can Coffee Be Beneficial For You?

two different colored cups of coffee

Coffee offers you a wide range of health benefits. The most common ones that you may have heard about are building better endurance and enhanced focus.

Apart from giving the magical energy fix, coffee improves your brain cognition and lowers the risks for diabetes. It can also aid in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

If you’re struggling with your weight, coffee can help in burning calories by jumpstarting your metabolism by about 20%.

The drink can also have a positive impact on your mental health. You don’t have to worry about caffeine-induced anxiety disorder if you’re having a healthy amount. Caffeine can uplift your mood by blocking the depression-inducing receptors in the brain. This is why you may feel good after drinking your cup of joe.

Apart from caffeine, coffee is packed with antioxidants and important nutrients such as potassium, manganese, vitamin B2, B, B5, etc. Moreover, the polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid and other antioxidants can help in maintaining the uric acid level in the body. This is important for improving insulin sensitivity and preventing gout flare.

Don’t assume that the more amount of cups you drink, the more potent will be the benefits. Coffee will work best only in moderate amounts. Intake beyond the healthy dose makes it unhealthy. Even decaf coffee becomes unhealthy beyond the recommended level. This might be because it isn’t completely caffeine-free.

Final Thoughts

Coffee is indeed a magical potion to fix your fatigue. It helps in boosting energy levels and provides better cognition. The rich taste of the drink just makes it better.

However, the presence of stimulant caffeine has drawn various confusion regarding the effectiveness of coffee for regular consumption.

Although there isn’t any concrete evidence to prove that coffee is responsible for any disrupted health diseases, it is, however, alarming to face the withdrawal symptoms quite often.

As long as you’re having it in moderate quantities, coffee is safe. Consider your age, medical health, comfort, etc before preparing your brew. Your friend might take 2-3 cups in a day without any adverse effect and you might get jitters after the first cup.

This is because your metabolism differs. Listen to your body and look for a coffee variety with better nutritional properties. There’re many healthier caffeine alternatives so control your overall intake to avoid coffee-related discomfort.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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