The Frightening Effect Excessive Coffee Consumption Might Have On Your Brain, According To New Study

A lot of us start our day with a cup of coffee, and often progress to two, three, or even four cups later in the day. But, did you know that consuming an excessive amount of coffee can impact your brain health? And we don't mean in the positive, alert way that you want to be in when drinking repeated cups in order to work a twelve-hour shift.

According to CBS Las Vegas, who reported on a study by the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, it's been found that drinking six cups or more of coffee per day can increase your risk for dementia and stroke. The research, based on results from 17,702 participants ranging in age from 30 to 37, found that there's a 53% increased risk of dementia when drinking this much coffee and it can also be a factor in brain shrinkage, too. 

While many of us don't drink coffee in those massive quantities, it is important to note that a safe caffeine intake for most adults is 400 milligrams a day, or around four cups of coffee, according to The Mayo Clinic. Too much caffeine may lead to other health issues, too, like hormonal imbalances and an irregular heartbeat, according to Healthline.

The other big risk with drinking too much coffee

The same study, published elsewhere on Taylor & Francis Online, also connected a higher risk of stroke with consumption of six-plus cups of coffee per day. That poses the question: Is it really the caffeine in coffee that is driving these effects on the brain or something else?

As stated before, The Mayo Clinic advises most adults to cap daily caffeine intake at around 400 milligrams per a day. A cup of coffee usually contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, so having around four to five cups a day would get you to this level, and a sixth serving would be pushing it (via Healthline). However, the study by the Australian Centre for Precision Health at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute states that exact mechanisms for how coffee can harm the brain aren't known at this time and researchers caution to stay hydrated while drinking java.

If it's later in the day and you're approaching your final cup, you can also turn to substitutes for coffee, like tea or brewed cacao, that have lower quantities of caffeine and mimic the taste of the drink.