Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In the U.S., the average consumption is about three cups a day, with 9 out of 10 adults choosing to drink one with breakfast.
In the United States, approximately 25 million people have asthma, or 1 in 13 Americans (a figure representing approximately 8% of adults and 7% of affected children). Statistically, women seem to be more prone to asthma than men.
Studies have shown that caffeine has similar effects to weak bronchodilators (a type of drug that makes breathing easier), temporarily relieving and improving lung function for up to two to four hours after consumption. However, coffee does not relieve or have as strong an effect as bronchodilators such as albuterol.
This article will discuss whether coffee is beneficial for asthma, its side effects, risks, and how to effectively use its therapeutic properties.
coffee and asthma
A South Korean study examining the link between coffee and asthma (green tea and soda included) is based on growing evidence that sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda during pregnancy, children and adulthood may cause Asthma attack; researchers hypothesized that coffee (and green tea) may act as a bronchodilator, helping to relieve allergic inflammation.
The researchers analyzed how often the participants (3,146 with asthma and 158,902 without a history of asthma) consumed beverages and how much they consumed. Their findings showed that drinking coffee reduced the frequency of asthma, and surprisingly, the positive effect appeared to be greater in the female subgroup compared to the male subgroup.
The researchers also found an association between asthma and coffee Methylxanthine (weak bronchodilator) present in coffee. The researchers concluded that drinking coffee once or twice a day may have a protective effect against asthma.
In addition to acting as a bronchodilator, caffeine has a variety of therapeutic properties and can also reduce respiratory muscle fatigue.
One study found that consuming caffeine before exercise can reduce asthma symptoms. However, the doses needed to relieve asthma are too high and can cause side effects. It is recommended that you do not substitute caffeinated beverages for the treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider for asthma relief.
Coffee also has other benefits: It contains antioxidants and other substances that can reduce inflammation and prevent certain diseases. One study found that coffee drinkers were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes (coffee may help process glucose better).
According to the researchers, drinking coffee — regular or decaf — also has protective effects on liver enzymes, while dark-roasted coffee reduces DNA strand breaks that can lead to cancer.
Risks and Side Effects
If you consume more than 400 mg of caffeine, its effects on the body may include:
- restless and trembling
- fast or abnormal heartbeat
- potential dependence
Consult your healthcare provider if you should limit your caffeine intake if:
- sleep disorder
- Migraine and other chronic headaches
- GERD or ulcer
- irregular or fast heartbeat
- Certain medications or supplements (always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if there are any interactions)
How to Use Coffee for Asthma
If you have asthma, coffee is safe to drink in small to moderate amounts, but it should not be used as a substitute for asthma treatment. If you’re planning a pulmonary function test (PFP) to determine asthma severity, a small amount of coffee can affect the test results. Because of caffeine’s temporary effects on the lungs, it can indicate that your lungs are better than they actually are. If you plan to have a lung function test, avoid coffee for at least four hours.
Coffee is a common beverage that many people drink every day. Studies have shown that it can relieve asthma symptoms because it acts as a weak bronchodilator. However, these effects are temporary, lasting two to four hours.
While coffee has antioxidant properties and reduces the risk of certain diseases, too much of the good stuff comes with its own set of side effects and risks. You can enjoy morning or afternoon coffee in moderation, but keep in mind that it is not a substitute for your prescription asthma medication.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee?
In general, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 95-200 mg of caffeine.
How much caffeine does decaffeinated coffee contain?
The decaffeination process removes about 97% of the caffeine from the beans. In general, a cup of decaffeinated coffee contains about 2 mg of caffeine.
How long does caffeine last?
Blood levels of caffeine peak within an hour of ingesting or drinking caffeine and, for most people, remain at these levels for several hours. You may still feel the effects of caffeine for four to six hours.