I keep a thermos of coffee at my desk. My tea drinking co-worker proclaimed that she heard that coffee was bad for my heart. I need coffee to get me through my day. Is she right?
Dear Caffeine addict,
The American Heart Association (AHA) feels that consumption of 1-2 cups daily or the equivalent should be fine. The AHA points out that there have been many conflicting studies on the effects of caffeine, coffee drinking, and heart disease (AHA, 2008, 2009).
According to Dr. Peter Martin, Director of the Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies, recent studies indicated that coffee in moderation (2-4 cups) might have health benefits. Possible health benefits are lower rates of suicide, Parkinson's disease, and type 2 diabetes. (Martin cited in Vanderbilt University, 2009).
Caffeine is not only in coffee, but tea, chocolate and some energy and soft drinks. For some, too much coffee or caffeine can make them feel jittery, make sleeping difficult sleeping, and increase heart rate.
As in all things, moderation is the key. If you feel jittery or cannot sleep at night, then cut down on the number of cups of coffee or intake of other caffeinated items.