A report by American and European experts suggests that changing your coffee intake up to three cups a day may increase your longevity.
Healthy food and nutritionist consultant, Sandra Venneri, talked to us about what caffeine does to our bodies. She says that in regards to caffeine and cardiovascular disease, “it effects your heart cells… these outer layer cells, it effects the function of them and if you’re at rest it actually relaxes them.” She says that your blood pressure will decrease as your blood cells relax when your body is at rest.
However, when we exercise you will see that the effects of caffeine will change. She says that the same process of vasodialation which happens when you drink coffee relaxed, has a different effect because it is trying to dilate your cells and make your capillaries bigger. This would need to happen in order to pressurize the cells “… to get more to the heart to get more oxygen to our muscles…”
She says that “at rest it’s a benefit, with exercise there can be risks to consuming large amounts of coffee.” One of the benefits that caffeine has on our body is it can delay the onset of diabetes which paired with cardiovascular disease could cause metabolic disease.
How much is the right amount? Well, Venneri says no more than four cups of coffee in a 250 ml size cup. She explains, “the average cup of coffee has anywhere between 75-125 milligrams of caffeine. Let’s just say an average of 100. Tea you can see as little as 30-50 milligrams.”
The article suggests that an increase in caffeine consumption may result in less suffering or a decreased risk of death in those suffering from digestive diseases. When asked about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease, Venneri says that it is inconclusive whether or not caffeine would help. For instance, for many of those struggling with irritable bowel syndrome; caffeine tends to trigger symptoms. She says that for those struggling with either of the disorders you will have to be careful about caffeine consumption and its effects.
Caffeine may impact each individual differently depending on their genetics and sensitivities. However, if you are going to consume caffeine, Venneri encourages people to consume it via coffee, tea or chocolate. While she was in her undergraduate, Venneri wrote a thesis where she researched the affect of caffeine on baseball players in the 90s. At this time, many had lost their lives and people were seeing a lot of negative cardiovascular effects of using caffeine. At this time baseball players were taking caffeine in pill form and it was mixed with aspirin and a Chinese herb. She says that if anyone is in need of taking caffeine pills they need to do so under the supervision of a professional. They would be able to determine how your heart is doing and make sure it doesn’t get stressed out as a result of too much caffeine.
Venneri says that four cups of coffee is fine as long as people are aware of serving sizes and make sure their consumption is in moderation.