MILAN – On the World Heart Day (29th September) and International Coffee Day (1st October) this week, the Institute of Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) would like to share how drinking coffee can support good cardiovascular health as part of a healthy lifestyle. According to the latest statistics from the British Heart Foundation, there are around 7.6 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.
Coffee is one of the most popular consumed and researched beverages in the world. Learn how drinking a simple cup of coffee, available in most kitchens, can impact health.
Coffee’s impact on cardiovascular disease (CVD)
According to new research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2021, drinking up to 3 cups of coffee per day may lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease. Another recent study found that drinking coffee does not increase risk of arrhythmias, but in fact each additional cup consumed on a daily basis lowers the risk of developing an irregular heart beat by 3%. A previous review of observational studies and meta-analyses concluded that habitual consumption of 3-5 cups of coffee per day is associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of CVD, and higher consumption has not been linked to elevated CVD risk1.
Coffee’s impact on stroke
An overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses concluded that a high consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, fish and tea, and moderate consumption of coffee and chocolate demonstrated a protective effect on the incidence of stroke2.
Coffee’s impact on hypertension
A dose-response meta-analysis suggested a significant protective effect of coffee consumption on hypertension starting from the consumption of 3 cups of coffee per day3.
Drinking coffee as part of a healthy lifestyle
Overall, a moderate consumption of coffee, equivalent to 3-5 cups per day, has been associated with a range of desirable physiological effects in scientific literature and can fit within a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle4. Find out how else drinking coffee can help below:
Coffee and life expectancy
Overall research suggests that drinking coffee can reduce risk of all-cause mortality and in some cases, research suggests that coffee and caffeine may be associated with reduced mortality from specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancers at certain sites.
Coffee and mood
There is documented research that caffeine in coffee may improve working memory, mood, depression and alertness. Read more here.
Coffee and hydration
Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that moderate caffeine consumption does not alter total body water and fluid distribution5 and drinking a variety of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, can contribute to meeting the body’s requirement for fluids6.
Coffee and exercise performance
The International Society of Sports Nutrition position on caffeine intake concludes that supplementation with caffeine has been shown to enhance various aspects of exercise performance. They suggest that small-to-moderate benefits of caffeine use include muscular endurance, movement velocity and muscular strength, sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance, as well as a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic sport-specific actions7.
Interestingly, drinking coffee can also affect cognitive function, improving alertness and concentration during exercise and sports. A systematic review suggested that a low/moderate dose of caffeine (around 3mg/kg to 6mg/kg) before and/or during exercise can improve energy, mood, and cognitive functions, such as attention; it may also improve simple reaction time, choice reaction time, memory, or fatigue8.
1. Rodriguez Artalejo F., Lopez Garcia E. (2017) Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease: A condensed review of epidemiological evidence and mechanisms, J Agric Fd Chem, 66(21):5257-5263.
2. Deng C. (2018) Strokeand food groups: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Pub Health Nutr, 21(4):766-776.
3. D’Elia L. et al. (2017) Coffee consumption and risk of hypertension: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Nutr, doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1591-z.
4. ISIC, ‘Coffee as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle’. Available at: http://coffeeandhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Roundtable-report_Coffee-as-part-of-a-healthy-diet.pdf
5. Silva A.M. et al. (2013) Total body water and its compartments are not affected by ingesting a moderate dose of caffeine in healthy young adult males. Nutr. Metab, 38:6.
6. Kolasa K.M. et al. (2009) Hydration and health promotion. Nutr Today, 44:190-203.
7. Guest N.S. et al. (2021) International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 18,1.
8. Calvo J.L. et al. (2021) Caffeine and Cognitive Functions in Sports: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 13(3):868.