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12 People Who Should Never Drink Coffee, Dietitians Say

Coffee is a delicious way to get a morning energy boost or beat afternoon depression, but coffee can also be defined as an elixir of health. It has been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, the risk of heart failure, and even the risk of hearing loss. And drinking a dark roast can even help you lose weight.

But for some people, coffee may actually have more negative side effects than positive ones. For example, you might notice that coffee sometimes makes you feel anxious or nervous, or maybe you find yourself rushing to the bathroom after every cup you’ve had. Coffee can even affect your health in ways you never knew before.

To better understand whether coffee is a good choice or not, we asked nutritionists about who should avoid drinking coffee for better health. Read on to find out what they had to say, and for more on healthy eating, don’t miss What Coffee Does to Your Brain and 5 Drinks The Longest Living People Enjoy Every Day.


People with IBS


“Caffeine may increase bowel regularity, including increasing the chances of diarrhea, a major symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS),” says Angel Planells, MS, RDN, a Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist and past president of the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Greater Seattle Dietetic Association. “So if you have IBS, limiting/avoiding caffeinated beverages is recommended.”


People with glaucoma

mocha coffee

mocha coffee

“Intraocular pressure increased in people with glaucoma when drinking coffee, so it is recommended to limit [or] avoid consumption, but further research is warranted,” says Planells.

According to Mount Sinai research, drinking higher amounts of caffeine increases the risk of glaucoma in those who already have a predisposition to increased eye pressure.


People with an overactive bladder

woman typing disposable next to disposable coffee cup

woman typing disposable next to disposable coffee cup

“We all know it’s best to avoid a big cup of coffee before a long trip, especially if bathroom breaks are limited. Caffeine consumption can increase both urinary frequency and urgency,” says Sue Heikkinen, MS, RD, registered dietitian for MyNetDiary. “If you don’t drink coffee regularly, you may be even more susceptible to this effect.” If you’re planning a long trip, check out The Best and Worst Car Snacks for your next roadtrip.


People with heart problems, such as arrhythmias

older man suffering from chest pain, heart attack

older man suffering from chest pain, heart attack

“Because the caffeine in coffee can cause temporary increases in blood pressure and heart rate, it is important for anyone with pre-existing heart conditions to discuss with their health care provider if/how much coffee can be consumed. safely,” says Kelli McGrane MS, RD, dietitian and Lose It! nutrition counselor.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that yes, there is a risk of short-term spikes in blood pressure when consuming caffeine. However, there is not enough conclusive evidence on the long-term effects on blood pressure or heart health.


Pregnant people.

pregnant woman coffee

pregnant woman coffee

“The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women limit caffeine to 200 milligrams (about what is found in two cups of coffee) per day to minimize the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and low birth weight,” says Heikkinen. “However, a 2020 review published in the British Journal of Medicine concluded that there is no safe level of caffeine intake during pregnancy. Pregnant women should discuss their caffeine intake with their doctor.”


Breastfeeding people

Woman with red nails drinking coffee

Woman with red nails drinking coffee

“Because caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic, the concern is that a breastfeeding mother may be at risk for dehydration,” says Planells. “The American Pregnancy Association suggests avoiding caffeine as much as possible during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”


People with sleep disorders

woman holding coffee maker and cup

woman holding coffee maker and cup

“It’s understandable to have a cup of coffee (or more) after a bad night’s sleep, but your coffee habit can perpetuate a cycle of poor sleep and fatigue,” Heikkinen says. “Even if you don’t think your afternoon coffee is affecting your sleep, it could indeed be affecting the quality of your sleep. Avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime, as recommended by the Sleep Foundation.”

A study of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that caffeine consumed even six hours before bedtime had the potential to disrupt sleep patterns. These results are based on a level of 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is equivalent to about four cups of coffee, and while you’re probably not going to drink that much caffeine in the afternoon, it’s important to note that caffeine clearly do have the power to affect your sleep.

RELATED: 6 Best Teas To Slow Aging


People who are very anxious or prone to panic attacks


“Caffeine is a stimulant that can make anxiety worse in some people,” says McGrane. “If you regularly suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, you may want to consider avoiding or reducing your intake of caffeinated coffee.”

Research of General Hospital Psychiatry found that higher levels of caffeine (about 5 cups of coffee per day) could potentially cause panic attacks in people with existing anxiety. Even if you don’t consume 5 cups, you can still monitor your intake to ensure that you are not adding to existing anxiety in your daily life.


People with diarrhea



“Some people swear by their morning cup of coffee to ‘get their bowels moving,’ but that effect isn’t desirable if you have diarrhea,” says Heikkinen. “Decaf coffee may be less problematic, although hot liquids, in general, tend to stimulate the bowels.”

RELATED: 14 Side Effects of Daily Coffee Drinking, According to Dietitians


People with epilepsy



“Although a limited study, [recent findings showed that] high coffee consumption was associated with increased seizure frequency. But more studies are needed,” says Planells. Consider talking to your neurologist about your caffeine intake if you have epilepsy.


Children under 12

child drinking from a cup

child drinking from a cup

“Although caffeine can make any of us a little jittery, it can have more noticeable and even severe side effects at lower doses in children,” McGrane says. “For example, too much caffeine in children can lead to increased heart rate, increased feelings of anxiety, difficulty concentrating and upset stomach. -toddlers, is that coffee can mask hunger cues, so toddlers may not be getting the nutrition they need for growth and development.Finally, keep in mind that coffee itself- even is quite acidic and, therefore, can damage tooth enamel and increase the risk of cavities.

RELATED: What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee


People with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

cups of coffee

cups of coffee

“Caffeine can loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. This could push acidic stomach contents into the esophagus, leading to unpleasant symptoms of GERD,” explains Heikkinen. “If you have GERD, see if switching to decaf helps.”

An original version of this article was published on August 5, 2022. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, corrections of any irrelevant or broken links, and ongoing research as well as citations. associated.

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