How much coffee should you drink in a day?

French press
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No more than six cups, new research says.

It turns out, there's a sweet spot when it comes to determining the right amount of coffee to drink in a day. A new study from the University of South Australia has determined that six cups is the maximum amount a person should consume daily. Any more than that, and you are running the risk of increasing cardiovascular disease by 22 percent.

One in six people in Australia is affected by cardiovascular disease, and it's a major cause of death with one person dying from it every 12 minutes worldwide. A press release cites the World Health Organization saying it's the leading cause of death, yet one of the most preventable.

Caffeine is the stimulant that we all crave and enjoy with our morning java, but it raises blood pressure, which in turn is hard on the heart. This study "confirms the point at which excess caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease."

Six cups might sound excessive to the average individual. That's a whole lot of caffeine that is bound to give you the jitters and the runs, maybe even some nausea, but it's not so far-fetched an amount as you may think. The single-cup-size serving used in the study measured 8 ounces, whereas the most popular coffee takeout size is 12 ounces, and it's not unusual to see 16 or 20 ounces. Modern Farmer observed,

"The average amount of coffee consumed by coffee drinkers each day is three cups, according to the National Coffee Association. That means that six cups wouldn’t be unheard of; certainly there are people drinking three large coffees per day, which would clock in at a whopping 7.5 cups, way more than this research indicates is safe."

There is ongoing debate in the coffee research world as to what constitutes a safe amount. A study last year said that drinking eight or more cups a day was fine, although the benefits appear to come from the antioxidant-rich beans themselves, rather than the caffeine. Prior to that, it was three cups that was the ideal amount.

So, who knows what the definitive final answer may be (if there ever is one)? The point is that moderate coffee drinkers can rest assured that their several cups of brain juice are perfectly fine. On that note, it's time for a refill...

How much coffee should you drink in a day?
No more than six cups, new research says.

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