Drinking that extra cup of coffee or tea won’t likely make your heart beat a few times faster than usual, according to a study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers examined people who drank coffee, tea and chocolate and were enrolled in the decade-long Cardiovascular Health Study, which ended in 1999. Of 1,388 participants with an average age of 72, 840 consumed about one caffeinated product per day. Experts found no difference in the number of palpitations for those who consumed any of the three caffeinated products over the course of the study.
“Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart’s cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits,” Dr. Gregory Marcus, study author and cardiologist at the University of California–San Francisco, told NBC News.
In May, the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, a nonprofit dedicated to the study of coffee’s effects on health, presented a report at the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation’s annual meeting, citing studies linking coffee to improved heart health. One study in particular, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that drinking three to five cups of coffee each day could reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by up to 21 percent.
Although coffee consumption continues to prove beneficial, the Food and Drug Administration warns that adults should limit their caffeine intake to about 400 milligrams per day.