Is Espresso Bad For You A Warning For Some Espresso Drinkers!

Is Espresso Bad For You? A Warning For Some Espresso Drinkers!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 18:11

An espresso, the base for many coffee drinks and the most commonly pulled coffee by baristas the world over and sparks the commonly asked question, “is Espresso bad for you?

And while I am not a doctor, medic, nor do I claim to be. This article is well-researched and detained. For medical advice regarding health concerns, please consult with your family doctor.

Keep reading as we dig down and answer this very question.

What Is An Espresso?

And espresso is a short, sharp, focused and concentrated coffee that originates in Italy. It is produced by using hot water of 9 bars of pressure being forced through a puck of 7 to 10 grams of very finely ground coffee grounds.

The coffee grounds are of a dark roast and fresh to produce the thick rich crema on top.

An espresso is typically only 30 ml (1 ounce) in size and forms the base for many other coffee drinks, including, but not limited to:

  • 1. Latte.
  • 2. Cortado.
  • 3. Flat White.
  • 4. Mocha.
  • 5. Affogato.
  • 6. Cappuccino.
  • 7. Macchiato.

The caffeine content on a per-shot basis is 75 milligrams. Meaning it is not the most caffeinated coffee that you will find by content but is the highest on a per ounce or per ml basis.

Other coffees have more caffeine in total – A French press coffee has typically 200 mg of caffeine but is a 12 ounce serving.

What Is An Espresso
An Espresso Getting Brewed

Read: How to drink coffee

Is Espresso Bad For You?

A shot of espresso is the strongest coffee bean and is the second-darkest roast behind.  When I say it is the strongest coffee bean, I am in reference to a strong, dark flavor and not caffeine content.

As an espresso is not a particular bean, it is a roast. This dark roast and very dark color means that it has the ability to stain a lot of different surfaces, including wood, cloth and plastic.

An espresso is not bad for you when you drink it in moderation. You can experience side effects when you drink too much of it due to having excessive caffeine.

Side effects include:

  • Increased Blood Pressure.
  • Irritability.
  • Tremors.
  • Rapid Heart Beat.
  • Anxiety.
  • Insomnia.
  • Restlessness.

Treat your consumption of coffee as you would like alcohol and enjoy it in moderation. Regardless of how many cups of coffee that you drink, and what type, I advise that you do not go above the suggested and recommended 400 mg per day daily limit.

Is Espresso Bad For You
An Excellent Espresso

Read: Coffee without sugar

Is Espresso Bad For You When Pregnant?

Not particularly so according to the ACOG – The American College Of Obstetricians and other medical experts. They suggest that if you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, that you limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams of caffeine daily.

That is half of the suggested limit of 400 mg daily.

This limits you to only 2 espressos or one double espresso shot per day. If you are an espresso lover and an espresso aficionado, you can still enjoy an espresso.

It is suggested that if you have more than their 200 mg limit of caffeine daily, your risk of miscarriage increases slightly.

As long as you stick to this limit, you should be fine.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Stomach

How much you can tolerate will vary from person to person as drinking espresso shots, particularly when you have too many shots of espresso in a single day, can have the effect of giving you an upset stomach.

This is due to the coffee, not the particular coffee drink in question. If you have digestive issues, then the acidity of coffee can leave you with a rather queezy feeling.

You can mitigate this by adding bicarbonate of soda to your coffee to reduce the acidity.

If you are unwilling to give up your beloved morning shot of espresso, you might (please consult with your doctor!) get away with changing the roast of your coffee beans to a darker roast and try the deeper, darker Italian and French roasts.

Darker roasts, particularly the very dark roasts, have a compound that inhibits the production of stomach acid.

The greater the caffeine content, the greater the probability of an upset stomach or uncomfortable stomach issues.

This is great news for those that love drinking espresso shots as the actual caffeine content of a single shot is lower than a large mug of coffee of another type as they only contain 75 mg on average, which is half that of an 8 ounce portion of traditional drip coffee and thus a wiser choice when considering an early morning beverage and caffeine kick.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Stomach
Excess Coffee Can Cause A Sore Stomach

Is Espresso Bad For Your Cholesterol?

he effect of espresso and coffee in general on cholesterol levels is not entirely conclusive. While the geek in me loves reading scientific studies and the coffee lover in me wants to see that there is no or a positive effect (confirmation bias!).

The hard fact of the matter is there are many studies indicating that coffee raises cholesterol levels and many studies indicating that it has little to no effect.

My own non-medical conclusion is that it is likely to raise cholesterol levels due to containing cafestol, which raises cholesterol levels.

There are studies focusing on espresso and cholesterol, which indicate the effect is minimal due to the drink being so small.

Coffee lovers with high cholesterol levels can filter their coffee using a paper filter. This filter does filter out cafestol which may mean that your coffee has less cholesterol.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Heart?

Drinking too much espresso can have a negative effect on your heart. This goes along with exceeding the recommended daily limit of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Studies have indicated that going over this amount can cause undesirable cardiovascular effects as blood flow to your heart can be reduced by 20%.

It has been peculiarly indicated that decaffeinated coffee can have the opposite effect of increasing blood flow.


drinking too much espresso or too much coffee can cause a spike in your blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.

In short, enjoy your espresso but not too much.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Heart
Too Much Caffeine Is Not Good For Your Heart Health

Is Espresso Bad For Your Kidneys?

Medical studies indicate that caffeine can place a strain of the function of your kidneys. Since caffeine stimulates your body and leads to an increase in blood flow and pressure, it can place stress on your kidneys.

Excessive caffeine is said to be linked to an increased probability of kidney stones.

Is Espresso Bad For Your Liver?

There is some compelling evidence from a 2007 study that concludes that regular consumption of coffee may result in protection from liver cancer. Italian researchers discovered that men who drink at least 3 cups of Italian style coffee per day have a 53% reduced risk of prostate cancer.

There are potential benefits for liver health and not bad for your liver.

Is Espresso Bad For Anxiety?

If you are feeling anxious and your nerves are getting the better of you, you are better to lay off the caffeine. A second or third shot of espresso is not going to do you any favors.

The blocking effect that caffeine has on the brain chemical adenosine, which makes you feel tired and the effect of stimulating adrenaline increases your energy.

While the desirable effect of a much-needed energy boost is appreciated, the side effect is an increase in anxiety.

1,000 mg or more per day can result in extreme nervousness. Caffeine-Induced anxiety is a mental disorder. Be careful.

Man Stressed
Caffeine Is Not Good For Anxiety

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Espresso Bad For You

Is Espresso Stronger Than Coffee?

It depends on how you look at it. An espresso is both weaker and stronger than regular coffee. An espresso has 75 mg of caffeine on average, which is less than a regular coffee which can have as much as 200 mg.


a regular cup of coffee can be as large as 12 ounces. On a per-ounce basis, 75 mg x 12 = a shocking and nerve-trembling 900 mg and thus, on a per-ounce basis, an espresso has a greater amount of caffeine.

Is An Espresso Just A Shot Of Coffee?


An espresso is much more than a shot of coffee. It is a very specific type of coffee that is made with very finely ground and compact coffee grounds which is brewed under pressure, resulting in a concentrated shot of coffee.

Why Is Espresso So Strong?

An espresso is particularly strong as it is focused and strong. The coffee to water ratio is typically 1.5:1, meaning the ratio of coffee to water is almost on 1a 1 to 1 basis, resulting in a denser liquid.

The coffee to water ratio for other brewing methods can be 1:8, 1:12 and 1:15 depending on the brewing method, which is more liquid and less focused.

Is It OK To Drink Espresso Everyday?

It is okay to drink espresso every day but not all day! It’s all down to caffeine tolerance and despite what most people think about espresso shots, it is not the most caffeinated coffee beverage. It has an average of 75 mg of caffeine, which is less than an 8 Oz cup of coffee, which has 120 mg of caffeine.

How Many Shots Of Espresso Is OK In A Day?

The recommended maximum intake of caffeine per day as suggested by the Food and Drug Administration is 400 milligrams of caffeine for healthy adults and 200 mg for pregnant women.

Are There Benefits To Drinking Espresso?

Yes, due to the focused coffee to water ratio of 1:2 (for a regular espresso) or 1:1.5 how the Italian make it.

This means that you have a strong concentration of antioxidants like Chlorogenic acid, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in coffee. You’ll also get a good amount of cafestol, which helps to fight inflammation. Essentially, the best coffee to drink in the morning for a health boost is an espresso or ristretto.

Why Is Espresso So Much Better Than Coffee?

Espresso is more focused and concentrated and with no filter used all the oils and flavors get into the brew and due to be concentrated your shot of espresso will have a greater amount of the health benefiting compounds.

When Should You Stop Drinking Espresso?

It is unadvised to drink espresso or any coffee drink 6-8 hours before your bedtime due to the caffeine content.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Is Espresso Bad For You?

It is not an espresso that can be bad for you, but the caffeine content that can have negative effects for your health. There are, though, some health benefits to drinking coffee.

Be sensible and stick to the limit of 400 milligrams and 200 milligrams if you are pregnant. If your friends are curious and wondering is espresso bad for you, send them a link to this article.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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