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Hey Coffee Lover: Coffee is Good For Your Heart and Good for Romance

Hey Coffee Lover: Coffee is Good For Your Heart and Good for Romance

If you would rather wake up to Mr or Mrs Coffee than to your dearly beloved, you’re probably hooked on caffeine. Scientists have officially proclaimed you an addict if you habitually consume more than 250 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day, the amount in just two cups of coffee. If you’re an addict, you’re not alone. Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug—that’s right, drug—in the World, rivaled only by nicotine and alcohol. People drink more coffee than any other people in the world. The upside to all this caffeine consumption is that coffee gets us moving every morning. Low to moderate doses (30 to 200 mg) boost energy, wakefulness, and even improve some aspects of physical and mental performance.

Coffee and the Heart

The caffeine in coffee has been accused in the past of serious offenses, including causing cancers of the breast, colon, and pancreas, but these reports appear to be groundless. There is, however, some hard evidence linking coffee to high cholesterol. Hard-core coffee drinkers can lower their cholesterol by as much as 13 percent just by giving up their Java. Coffee is thought to play an important role in cardiovascular disease. Drinking three to four cups of coffee a day may bump your risk of heart attack to twice the average, and drinking more than five cups a day can drive your risk to nearly three times the average.

Coffee and Sex

As far as your sexuality is concerned, a single cup of coffee or caffeine-containing beverage may give you more energy and stamina for sexual activity, thereby enhancing your performance and overall enjoyment. When athletes drink three or four cups of coffee about an hour before they compete, they can outlast caffeine-free competitors by up to 20 minutes. This affect on athletic performance is real—so real that the International Olympic Committee has classified caffeine as a “restricted drug.” Competitors are allowed to use caffeine, as long as they don’t overdo it.

The rest of us can benefit from a little moderation as well. Consuming too much caffeine on a regular basis leads to chronic over-stimulation of the adrenal glands, flooding the body and brain with hormones normally produced in times of stress. These hormones are known to negatively impact libido and sexual performance.

If you’re like most coffee addicts, you probably have no idea how much caffeine you consume on a daily basis. Cup for cup, brewed coffee is the richest source of caffeine. And remember, a cup means just that—a measuring cup—not that two-gallon plastic monstrosity you got for your last birthday. One cup of brewed coffee has 80 to 180 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, depending on how strong you make it. Instant coffee provides about 60 to 100 mg of caffeine, and tea has 25 to 75 mg per cup. The caffeine content of a 12 ounce soda ranges from 30 to 60 mg, and even decaffeinated coffee isn’t totally caffeine free: most brands have one to five mg of caffeine per cup.

If you need a calculator to determine your caffeine intake, there’s no doubt you’re hooked. As with other drugs, too much caffeine can be dangerous, but you’d have to drink about 75 cups of coffee at your next coffee break to sustain a lethal dose. If you’re getting close, maybe it’s time to think about cutting down.