Tuesday, May 12, 2015

by Ashley Giddens MS RD/LD

Q: What are the recommendations for caffeine and heart disease?

A: According to the American Heart Association, the equivalent of one to two cups of coffee per day does not appear to be harmful. Of the studies that have been conducted to examine the effects of caffeine intake and heart health, there has not yet been a direct correlation.

Caffeine, however, has been known to mildly raise blood pressure and heart rate in some individuals, particularly those with sensitivity to it. Studies of green and black tea have reported potential benefits to cholesterol levels, blood pressure as well as reduced risk of stroke.

The following table can be used as a general guide for common foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Depending on the type, brand, and brew of these products, caffeine content will vary.

Product                                                      Caffeine (mg)
Coffee, 8 oz                                               100-200
Decaffeinated Coffee, 8 0z                           Less than 10
Tea (including Black and Green), 8 oz            Less than 50
Decaffeinated Tea, 8 oz                                Less than 10
Soft drinks, 12 oz                                        60 mg or less
Decaffeinated Soft drinks, 12 oz                    Trace amounts
Energy drinks, 8 oz                                      50-200
Chocolate, 1 oz                                            60 or less than 10

Whether caffeine leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease or an increase in the risk factors themselves has not been proven, however, it is recommended to discuss appropriate caffeine intake with a physician based on your medical history.