Grabbing a cuppa may be an essential feature of the daily grind, but how much coffee is too much?

Many people look forward to that first cup of coffee in the morning, a few coffee breaks during the day and that after-dinner coffee, but are we drinking too much?

How much is too much?

While this has been debated for decades, new research from the University of South Australia reveals that drinking six or more coffees a day can be detrimental to your health, increasing your risk of heart disease by up to 22 per cent.

Investigating the association of long-term coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease in 347 077 participants, UniSA researchers Dr Ang Zhou and Professor Elina Hyppönen say that their research confirms that excess caffeine can cause high blood pressure, a precursor to heart disease.

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The most commonly consumed stimulant

“Coffee is the most commonly consumed stimulant in the world – it wakes us up, boosts our energy and helps us focus – but people are always asking ‘How much caffeine is too much?’,” says Prof Hyppönen.

“Most people would agree that if you drink a lot of coffee, you might feel jittery, irritable or perhaps even nauseous – that’s because caffeine helps your body work faster and harder, but it is also likely to suggest that you may have reached your limit for the time being.

Drinking six or more coffees a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22 per cent.

“We also know that risk of cardiovascular disease increases with high blood pressure, a known consequence of excess caffeine consumption.

“In order to maintain a healthy heart and a healthy blood pressure, people must limit their coffees to fewer than six cups a day – based on our data six was the tipping point where caffeine started to negatively affect cardiovascular risk.”

Source: University of South Australia via