Coffee, one of the most popular drinks in the world, is definitely associated with a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t contain only caffeine but also more than 1,000 bioactive compounds that may have beneficial antioxidant properties.

A moderate amount of coffee, that’s about 3 to 5 cups of 200 ml per day (up to 400 miligrams of caffeine), has a beneficial health effect – lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and help to decrease the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease [1].

There are large differences in caffeine amount among coffee and other beverages and foods. It depends on the production process, the original raw material and other factors [2]. 

The caffeine content and the portions size of foods/beverages differ between countries [3].

Coffee is popular especially for its stimulating effects – it increases attention and concentration and prevents drowsiness and fatigue – all thanks to containing caffeine and its ability to stimulate the activity of the central nervous system. The effect usually peaks up to 45 minutes after drinking coffee and lasts for 4 hours. Caffeine sensitivity depends on many factors – age, body weight, frequency of caffeine intake and health conditions. In addition a regular coffee drinkers may be less sensitive to caffeine effects than someone who drinks occasionally [2].

Excessive amount of caffeine can cause anxiety and thrembling [2]. Coffee does not interfere with sleep,  doesn’t affect its quality and doesn’t cause insomnia. However, it can significantly prolong the time before falling sleep [9].

Coffee is not suitable for everyone. People with a history of heart attack, suffering from high level of blood pressure, gastro-oesophageal reflux, ulcers, and people taking beta-blockers should restrict its consumption [2].

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should low a daily coffee intake. Caffeine is able to pass through the placental barrier and gets into breast milk. The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the March of Dines, as well as EFSA (and many other organizations), recommend maximum daily caffeine intake to 200 mg during pregnancy and during breastfeeding [4-6]. Higher intake could increase the risk of spontaneous miscarriage, premature birth and poor fetal growth [7, 8].

Coffee is a drink with a long history. 400 years has passed since it first came to Europe. During that time it was tested in detail and its effects was described. Some of the great amount of information that we have about coffee may be outdated and some of them not. What is fact and what is fiction? – See the next article.


[1]       HIGDON J. Coffee. Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center website [online]. 28. duben 2014 [vid. 2018-05-26]. Dostupné z: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/coffee

[2]       DUYFF, Roberta Larson. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 5th Ed. 5th edition. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. ISBN 978-0-544-52059-2.

[3]       EFSA explains risk assessment: Caffeine. European Food Safety Authority [online]. [vid. 2018-05-26]. Dostupné z: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/corporate/pub/efsaexplainscaffeine150527

[4]       Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy [online]. [vid. 2018-05-26]. Dostupné z: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/caffeine-intake-during-pregnancy/

[5]       Caffeine in pregnancy [online]. [vid. 2018-05-26]. Dostupné z: http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/caffeine-in-pregnancy.aspx

[6]       Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine. EFSA Journal [online]. 2015, 13(5), 4102. ISSN 1831-4732. Dostupné z: doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4102

[7]       GONZALEZ DE MEJIA, Elvira a Marco Vinicio RAMIREZ-MARES. Impact of caffeine and coffee on our health. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM [online]. 2014, 25(10), 489–492. ISSN 1879-3061. Dostupné z: doi:10.1016/j.tem.2014.07.003

[8]       CHEN, Ling-Wei, Yi WU, Nithya NEELAKANTAN, Mary Foong-Fong CHONG, An PAN a Rob M. VAN DAM. Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with risk of low birth weight: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. BMC medicine [online]. 2014, 12, 174. ISSN 1741-7015. Dostupné z: doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0174-6


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