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

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

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 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 third-darkest roast behind Italian and French roasts. 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 espresso or one double espresso shot per day. If you an espresso lover and an espresso aficionados you can still enjoy an espresso.

It is suggested that if you have more than their 200 mg limitation 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 an 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

The 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 of 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 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.

Also,

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 favours.

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

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.

However,

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?

No,

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 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.

Final Thoughts, 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 of drinking coffee.

Be sensible and stick to the limit of 400 milligrams and 200 milligrams if you are pregnant.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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