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Is There Such a Thing As 'Too Much' Coffee?

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How much coffee do you drink in a typical day? Coffee is one of the world's most popular and widely consumed beverages, with statistics showing that over two-thirds of Americans drink it on a daily basis. While some people limit themselves to a single cup of coffee per day, though, others drink up to a half-dozen. If you're guilty of chugging down coffee, you might be wondering how much coffee is too much. Well, a new study may have the answer.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of South Australia, people who consume one or two cups of coffee per day have a lower risk of developing heart disease than their counterparts who don't consume coffee. Of course, it's common knowledge in the medical community that coffee, when consumed on a regular basis, protects against heart disease. The beverage contains natural antioxidants that fight free radicals and, therefore, lower the risk of heart disease.

However, researchers found that people who consumed an excessive amount of coffee actually had a higher risk of developing heart disease After analyzing self-reported health data involving over 347,000 men and women, researchers at the University of South Australia discovered that people who consumed six or more cups of coffee were about 22% more likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts who consumed less coffee.

This begs the question: Why does drinking six or more cups of coffee have a negative impact on your heart health? Researchers believe that drinking too much coffee causes an increase in blood pressure. And when your blood pressure rises to the point where you have hypertension, it stresses your heart and increases the risk of heart disease.

"Coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world — it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us focus — but people are always asking 'How much caffeine is too much?'," wrote the study's researchers. "In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day — based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk."

The bottom line is that you need to limit the amount of coffee you drink. As revealed in this study, six cups per day is too much coffee. Instead, aim for just one or two cups. By drinking no more than two cups of coffee per day, you'll reap the benefits of this delicious and nutritious beverage.

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