5 Things This Cardiologist Wants You to Know About The Impact of Coffee On Heart Health

Alireza Nazeri Cardiac Electrophysiologist Houston, Texas

Dr. Alireza Nazeri is a cardiologist and cardiac electrophysicist practicing in Houston, TX. Dr. Nazeri performs testing procedures on patients' hearts' electrical systems in order to assess timing and abnormalities associated with electrical activities of the heart. Adult cardiac electrophysiologists are trained to treat... more

Health Tips from Dr. Alireza Nazeri, MD, FACC, FHRS (www.MobitzHeart.com)

There are plenty of myths and confusion around the impact drinking coffee can have on heart health. People in the United States and many other countries drink coffee regularly, and it is the primary source of caffeine in the diet. For these reasons, patients and doctors alike often worry about whether the amount of coffee they consume is putting their heart health at risk.

When my patients come to me wondering whether I will cut them off from coffee, they are often pleasantly surprised to hear what I have to say. Read on until the end to learn of limitations, however.

Read on to learn about the five things I want to know about coffee's impact on heart health.

1. Coffee is the Main Source of Antioxidants Worldwide

Coffee has robust antioxidant properties, even after undergoing extreme processing conditions after harvesting, so it can be ready to brew. In fact, the roasting process can actually add antioxidant activity to the coffee. The primary antioxidants in coffee are chlorogenic acids (CGAs). When people consume coffee throughout the day, it may provide up to two-thirds of the total antioxidants consumed in the diet. 

The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in coffee bring about anti-inflammatory and free radical-scavenging benefits that benefit heart health.

2. Coffee Consumption Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Failure and Hypertension in Regular Coffee Drinkers

People who regularly drink coffee and have so for an extended period may experience important heart benefits. One study examined the relationship between reported coffee consumption and the risk of high blood pressure and heart failure. Research shows that the risk of heart failure and hypertension is less frequent with those who consumed equal to or more than three cups a day.

3. Moderate Coffee Drinking is Linked with Fewer Arrhythmias

Heart arrhythmias are problems with the heart rhythm due to different factors that impact the electrical impulse that coordinates the heartbeat. For decades, many health professionals have claimed that drinking coffee is linked to arrhythmias. Research points out that the opposite is true, at least for moderate consumption of coffee.

Not only is there no evidence that drinking coffee can cause heart arrhythmias, but moderate coffee drinking is also actually linked to fewer arrhythmias than those who don't drink coffee. A recent study with data from 300,000 UK residents found that regularly consuming moderate levels of coffee was linked to a reduced risk of heart arrhythmias.

4. Moderate Caffeine Consumption is Safe, But Be Aware of Other Sources of Caffeine in Your Diet

While regular coffee drinking at moderate levels is generally considered healthy, there are upper limits to what is considered healthy for the heart with regard to caffeine consumption. Remember that coffee isn't the only beverage in the diet that has caffeine. If you drink energy drinks, tea, eat chocolate or take caffeine-containing supplements, you are consuming caffeine by other means as well.

5. Some People's Heartrate May Be More Greatly Affected by Coffee Consumption Than Others

People who are not accustomed to drinking coffee may be more prone to adverse heart risks when they drink coffee spontaneously. One study found, for example, that irregular, not habitual, coffee drinking is associated with a moderately increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Additionally, people in certain physiological states, like pregnancy, can benefit from abstaining from or reducing coffee consumption.

Finally, everyone has different caffeine tolerances. While regular caffeine consumption has its benefits for most people, consuming more than your body is accustomed to can lead to increased anxiety, insomnia, headaches, tremors, and palpitations.


Recent evidence shows that regular coffee drinking in moderate amounts (up to 3 cups or 24oz) can contribute to heart health. However, heart issues may arise if coffee is consumed together with other caffeinated beverages, foods, and supplements. Pay attention to how your body feels after drinking coffee and other caffeine-containing foods and drinks and modify your habits accordingly. If you aren't sure how to do so, reach out to your cardiologist at your next appointment. 


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