Six espresso shots a day can hurt more than your wallet

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WINCHESTER, Va. – According to a new report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), having more than five espresso shots a day could lead to health issues like heart problems, insomnia and panic attacks.

“[Caffeine] is a drug. It is a stimulant,” said Dr. Joel Madrid, a pediatrician with Loudoun Pediatric Associates. “We don’t normally recommend it for children.”

While you might only have one cup of coffee or a shot of espresso a day, EFSA’s report says people tend to overlook their serving sizes.

“Americans drink a lot more coffee here than the Europeans drink espresso,” said Dan Lantonio, owner of The Cookie Guy and espresso connoisseur. “[Americans] also like to [put] everything [into] a little bit larger cup sizes. Instead of a typical eight ounce cup, we do 12 ounces, 16 ounces, 20 ounces, even 24 ounce or higher.”

Five espresso shots equal 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the maximum daily dose the EFSA’s report states you can have before you start putting yourself at risk for over-consumption of caffeine, and the health problems that are related to it.

Health officials also said while you may not be drinking more than five espresso shots a day, there are other sources of caffeine that individuals may not even be aware that they’re consuming.

“Sports drinks can have caffeine [in them]. Cola, or over the counter soda can have caffeine. Chocolates can have some form of caffeine in it,” said Madrid, listing off some other sources of caffeine suppliers.

The EFSA’s report said not all caffeine suppliers are created equal. When it comes down to it, the report said one cup of filtered coffee (eight ounces) has 90 milligrams of caffeine, versus one shot of espresso (two ounces), which has 80 milligrams of caffeine.

Those numbers mean that drinking more than four and a half cups of coffee, or drinking more than five cups of espresso would put you over the recommended daily caffeine consumption limit of 400 milligrams.

The EFSA lists other items and their caffeine allotments for comparison:

While doctors and health experts said adults should cap their caffeine intake at 400 milligrams, pregnant women should not consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day.


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