Should Seniors Drink Coffee?

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Almost 75% of those 55 or older drink at least one cup of coffee a day. While caffeine in moderation has many positive effects, consumption in high quantities may cause issues for those with existing health conditions.

But, how much is too much?

If you’re consuming a cup or two every day, you’re in no real danger of adverse side effects. However, those who drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day may want to scale back. Not only can caffeine in excess overstimulate the nervous system, resulting in jitters, an upset stomach, and sleep issues, but it can also cause anxiety, headaches, restlessness, and irregular heartbeat.  

So, how are these effects any different for younger people?

A study found that caffeine takes 33% longer, on average, to metabolize in adults age 65 and older than for younger adults. This means that if a senior consumes a cup of coffee at 2 pm, his body may still be processing it at 8 pm, making getting to sleep difficult. Additionally, dehydration is one of the top causes of hospitalization for seniors and an effect of over-caffeination in part due to caffeine being a diuretic. Coffee may also interfere with some medications, so it’s always best to talk to your doctor about potential drug reactions. 

What if a senior stops at three and a half cups of coffee?  

Keep in mind that caffeine is the cause of the adverse effects one may experience when drinking too much coffee. However, caffeine naturally occurs in other foods, like chocolate and beverages such as soft drinks. Always stick to the recommended caffeine intake, which is approximately 400 milligrams. 

How much coffee do you consume every day? Let us know in the comments! 

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