What are the side effects of drinking coffee?


Quick Answer

Drinking coffee containing caffeine can lead to insomnia, nervousness, upset stomach and headache in some individuals, states WebMD. Coffee is safe for most adults, but drinking more than six cups per day can cause symptoms such as anxiety and agitation. Unfiltered coffee may increase total cholesterol in some patients.

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Full Answer

People who don't usually drink coffee and are at high risk for a heart attack may have an increased risk of heart attack about an hour after drinking coffee, explains WebMD. However, coffee is not known to cause heart attacks in those who are not already at risk. Pregnant women are advised to limit coffee intake to 2 cups or less per day, as drinking more than this may increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight. Coffee may interfere with blood sugar levels, so diabetics who drink coffee are advised to monitor their blood sugar levels closely. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome often find that coffee worsens their diarrhea.

Coffee that contains caffeine is thought to improve mental alertness, according to WebMD. Research also suggests that coffee may increase the risk of colorectal cancer, prevent dizziness caused by low blood pressure after eating a meal, and possibly even delay the onset of Parkinson's disease symptoms.

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