Starting your day with a fresh, hot cup of coffee can be a mood booster, a way to socialize, a source of comfort, and, of course, a brilliant way to wake up. But, there have been some health concerns over coffee, which leaves many to wonder: Should seniors drink coffee?
Related Blog: 6 Indoor Activities that Help to Boost Mood for Seniors
Is Coffee Healthy for Seniors?
For many older adults, morning coffee is a ritual that you would not want to give up. And the good news is, coffee is perfectly fine for most seniors to drink. It's what you may be adding to coffee that can be problematic.
Watch What You Add to Coffee
An 8-ounce cup of coffee only contains two calories. But, adding a tablespoon of half-and-half and a teaspoon of sugar raises that to 38 calories. Anyone who follows a restricted calorie diet should be mindful of the milk, flavored syrups, and sugar that is added to coffee and espresso drinks.
Coffee can also be a problem if it is the only beverage that you drink. It is important for seniors to drink enough water throughout the day, too.
What is an Appropriate Amount of Coffee Each Day?
Most older adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine each day. If coffee is the sole source of a senior's caffeine intake, that allows for approximately four 8-ounce cups of coffee.
Your coffee consumption must be balanced with other forms of caffeine. Chocolate, energy drinks, and teas can also contain caffeine, so check the nutrition label on these products.
What are the Health Benefits of Coffee?
Many people just can't start or get through your day without a cup of joe. Besides making you feel good, studies have shown that coffee is actually good for your health, too. Some of the health benefits of coffee include a reduced risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes, as coffee may help the body process glucose better.
- Developing colon cancer. (This is true for both regular and decaffeinated coffee drinkers.)
- Developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
- Some of the leading causes of death: coronary heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Coffee isn't the best beverage for everyone, though. And there are some disadvantages to drinking too much coffee.
Are There Downsides to Coffee?
If you drink too much coffee throughout the day, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This can lead to a vicious cycle of drinking too much coffee during the day to stay alert, then not being able to sleep at night, and so on.
Coffee-related insomnia can be remedied by switching over to decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon, or swapping out a cup of coffee for some herbal tea.
Some people should not drink coffee or must limit you caffeine intake for health reasons. Caffeine may interfere with how well a medication works, or it may worsen an existing health condition. Anyone who has questions about you caffeine intake should check with you doctor and pharmacist.
And some seniors are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Feeling jittery or anxious and experiencing increased blood pressure or heart rate are all signs that you’ve drank too much coffee. Some people absolutely love the taste of coffee and know that you drink too much, but have difficulty cutting back. That's where "half-caff" coffee--simply a mix of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee--can be a solution.
At Jacaranda Trace, you'll always have friends to enjoy a cup of coffee and a conversation with. To learn more about our senior living community, contact us today to speak with a member of our team about scheduling your own private tour.