Health Benefits of Caffeine: Go Ahead and Have the Extra Cup of Coffee

From espresso to chocolate milk, there are so many beverages that contain caffeine. Found in the seeds, nuts, or leaves of certain plants, people all over the world have been drinking caffeine for thousands of years, according to the National Coffee Association.1

Caffeine causes you to feel alert and focused. And it happens fast — it only takes about 15 minutes to feel the effects, says Cleveland Clinic.2 If you’re a lifelong coffee drinker, tea drinker — or maybe even a chocolate milk drinker — you might be curious to learn more about the pros and cons of caffeine. Let’s explore.

Reap the benefits of caffeine

Here’s a look at how drinking caffeine can bolster your health:

  • Promotes heart health: A study from the American Heart Association3 showed that the risk of heart failure fell by 5% and 12% per cup of coffee per day, compared to non-coffee drinkers.
  • Decreases risk for depression: Coffee can reduce depression risk by one-third, according to a study done by a neurologist at Harvard Medical School.4
  • Exercise better: Timing your aerobic workout after your caffeine intake might be a good idea because caffeine can increase fat-burning, says a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.5

But how much is too much?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration6 reports it’s safe to drink between two and four cups of coffee each day (or the equivalent of 400 milligrams). Keep in mind that everyone reacts to caffeine differently. Even though drinking caffeine is safe, it might be wise to cut back if you’re experiencing any of these side effects, advises Mayo Clinic7:

  • Headache
  • Not being able to sleep at night
  • Feeling jittery and anxious
  • Frequently urinating or not able to control urination
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

Be aware that caffeine can interact with some medications and certain health conditions, so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your caffeine consumption.

And if you’re looking to cut back on your caffeine consumption, do it gradually, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.8 If you stop suddenly, you might experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, anxiety and nervousness.

It’s safe to say that having a caffeinated beverage can not only be enjoyed, but done in moderation — it’s something that may boost your health. Cheers!

Links to various other websites from this site are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana, Inc. or its subsidiaries of these sites, any products, views, or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained therein. Humana disclaims responsibility for their content and accuracy.


  1. “The History of Coffee,” National Association of Coffee, last accessed August 2, 2022,
  2. “Caffeine: How to Hack It and How to Quit It,” Cleveland Clinic, last accessed August 2, 2022,,is%20still%20in%20your%20body.
  3. “Coffee May Help Reduce Risk for Heart Failure,” American Heart Association, last accessed August 2, 2022,,people%20who%20drank%20no%20coffee.
  4. “Coffee Drinkers are Less Likely Than Others to Be Depressed,” Harvard Medical School, last accessed August 2, 2022,, PDF
  5. “Caffeine Increases Maximal Fat Oxidation During a Graded Exercise Test: Is There a Diurnal Variation?,” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, last accessed August 2, 2022,
  6. “Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much?,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last accessed August 2, 2022,,it%20break%20it%20down.
  7. “Nutrition and Healthy Eating,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed August 2, 2022,
  8. “Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much?”