How Much Coffee Actually Starts To Negatively Affect Your Brain?

Most people can't make it through the day without at least one cup of coffee to wake them up, whether it's first thing in the morning or during an afternoon energy crash. While coffee has many health benefits, too much of anything can be harmful. A 2021 study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that a high consumption of caffeine was linked to lower brain volumes and an increased risk of dementia. Specifically, they found that people who drink six or more cups of coffee per day have a 53% increased risk of dementia.

Researchers are not sure exactly why these negative effects exist (via University of South Australia). Coffee has been shown to have many health benefits when consumed in moderation. While you don't need to ditch your favorite drink completely, you should rethink your consumption if you are relying on more than six cups each day. If you need this much coffee to get through the day, you may be dealing with an underlying health condition like poor sleep or anxiety.

Health benefits and risks of coffee

When consumed sparingly, coffee offers many health benefits. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Circulation, drinking one to five cups of coffee each day can increase your chance of having a longer lifespan as opposed to drinking little to no coffee. Scientists aren't sure why coffee can help you live longer, but it may be due to the antioxidants, caffeine, and other natural compounds in the drink that can improve cardiovascular health. According to Healthline, coffee can also protect against Alzheimer's disease and fight against depression.

However, how you drink your coffee can cause some negative impacts on your health as well. Many people need to add sugar or sweeteners to coffee before drinking it. According to Healthline, dumping sugar into your coffee basically turns it into a dessert you should enjoy sparingly. Sugar has little to no nutritional value and can lead to a variety of health problems including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease (via Medical News Today). You can try flavoring your coffee with spices like cinnamon or with a natural sweetener like stevia.