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Most Coffee Drinkers Can Sip Their Brew Worry-Free

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Here is some buzz-worthy news: Scientists seem to have pinpointed how many cups of coffee we can safely drink each day. A large 2017 review of studies published in Food and Chemical Toxicology determined that consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day—which would include sources like tea and chocolate, too—has no detrimental impact on health measures such as bone strength or cardiovascular well-being. That amount represents about 4 cups of coffee.

Pregnant women can tolerate up to 300 mg of caffeine without adverse reproductive or developmental effects. But it’s worrisome that, according to a 2017 University of Illinois analysis, about two-thirds of Americans who are regular coffee drinkers sully their drinks with extra calories from sugar, creams and other flavorings. Those who drink their coffee straight up consume about 69 fewer calories per day. That may not seem like a lot, but day after day those extra calories can have repercussions for the waistline.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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