If you are one of the many millions of American citizens that use coffee or caffeinated beverages to get through the day, I have some good news for you. A new study on the safety of caffeine consumption has concluded that drinking about 400 milligrams daily, or four cups of coffee, is pretty safe for most people.
The study, one of the most extensive of it’s kind, was headed by Esther Myers, who is a specialist in systemic research reviews at the famed International Life Sciences Institute. The team, led by Myers, are presenting their findings at the Experimental Biology conference in Chicago this week. The team looked at how different levels of caffeine tended to affect people in both the short and long term. They looked specifically at effects in behavioural, reproductive and cardiovascular health.
The study went over more than 700 other studies all on the safety of ingesting caffeine. Myer’s team found plenty of evidence in those studies to suggest that 400 milligrams of caffeine, is absolutely safe for adults to have on a daily basis. While it’s clear it’s not doing any damage, the evidence doesn’t suggest it will make you any healthier.
Pregnant women, however, are better off with 300 milligrams of caffeine or less.
The 400 milligram limit isn’t new: it’s been floated by everyone from the International Food Information Council to the FDA to Health Canada
since about 2003.
What happens if you drink more than that?
Myers’ team found a correlation of links to depression, dysphoria, anxiety, hypertension, and men with higher numbers of sperm with DNA damage. Having a fifth cup of coffee on the odd day might not be completly unsafe if you are a healthy person, says Myers, but don’t make it a habit. And you could always switch to tea instead