Health Beat - Fall 2019 - 5
Java might jump-start your day-but
it's also easy to overdo it
or many people, mornings
aren't complete without a cup
of coffee-or two or three. And
though it might make for a productive
start to the day, too much coffee means
too much caffeine, a natural stimulant,
which can negatively affect health by
increasing heart and breathing rates,
anxiety, insomnia, stomachaches,
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How Much Should I Have?
Experts say up to 400 milligrams of
caffeine per day is safe and healthy for
adults, but with about 95 to 165 milligrams of caffeine in one 8-ounce cup
of coffee, drinking more than two cups
might put you over the limit.
To get your caffeine fix and keep
your health on track, Sandra J. Arevalo,
a member of the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics, recommends drinking
coffee in moderation and without the
extras-such as whipped cream, sweeteners, and syrups-that quickly add
calories, fat, and sugar to your morning beverage.
Arevalo also says that some people should eliminate consumption.
Although studies show that 75 percent
of American children ages 5 and older
consume caffeine daily, having caffeinated beverages at a young age has been
linked to anxiety disorders in adulthood.
Coffee isn't recommended for children,
but if they are drinking it, Arevalo says
it should be mostly milk.
For teens looking for the caffeine
boost to aid in late-night studying,
Arevalo has some alternatives: "If they
need to stay up later, take a half-hour
nap, then continue," she says. "Or eat
something nutritious, like a piece of fruit
or some protein."
Pregnant women should also limit
their caffeine intake to less than
200 milligrams per day, as a higher
intake increases the risk of miscarriage
and premature birth.
The Health Benefits
in a Cup of Joe
Despite these concerns, coffee can
offer some nutritional benefits.
Arevalo says the beverage contains
potassium, magnesium, and niacin,
all of which improve body function. Drinking coffee daily might
also lower a person's risk of heart
disease and type 2 diabetes, aid
in weight loss, and fight neurological defects and some
types of cancer.
Again, Arevalo says
these perks apply
only to coffee that's
served black or
with some milk
in moderation. If
you feel jittery or
anxious or have
trouble sleeping, it might be
a sign that it's
time to cut
down on your
daily joe. 1
TRACK YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
Monitor your daily consumption with the Caffiend caffeine
tracker app, available at Apple's App Store.
TEST your coffee knowledge at webmd.com by searching "coffee quiz"
Health Beat - Fall 2019
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