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The Impact of Daily Espresso Consumption: Here’s What Happens When You Drink Espresso Every Day

Here’s what happens when you drink espresso every day
Is there a more popular beverage than coffee? With the very likely exception of, say, plain old water-which barely qualifies as a beverage choice, being a necessity for human survival and all-it’s hard to think of any consumable liquid that’s superior to coffee. In fact, with an astronomical 22 billion pounds of coffee expected to be consumed worldwide in 2021, it’s clear that no one gets tired of their morning java – whether it’s a cream-and-sugar-filled Frappuccino or a piping-hot shot of espresso.
Espresso is a coffee connoisseur’s dream. Created by Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni (who introduced the world to their single-shot espresso machine at the 1906 Milan World’s Fair in Italy), the powerfully caffeinated beverage is a marvel – and a hit with modern U.S. consumers. Of course, the enormous popularity of espresso-based coffee drinks in the U.S. makes us wonder how the big, bold Italian import is affecting human health, especially among those who drink espresso on a daily basis.

How Much Caffeine is in Espresso?

Aside from the chemistry and craftsmanship behind espresso (that’s for another article), the main factor to consider when discussing the potential health effects of espresso is its caffeine content (at least before any additional fat or sugar is added). So if you’re wondering what happens when you drink espresso every day, it’s instructive to start with the fact that an ounce of espresso contains an average of 63 milligrams of caffeine.
Now, out of context, that number doesn’t tell you much. But when you consider that a standard cup of drip coffee contains a meager 12 to 16 milligrams of caffeine per ounce, it doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that espresso drastically outperforms the alternative when compared side-by-side in terms of caffeine content.
Interestingly, however, if you compare a standard serving of espresso (generally one to two ounces) to a standard cup of coffee (which is probably eight ounces or so), there is actually less caffeine in the average serving of espresso than in that of regular coffee. It’s true that a direct, pound-for-pound measurement favors espresso. But when you factor in the standard serving sizes, there’s little reason to believe that espresso will affect you any differently than regular drip coffee (unless you regularly down an exorbitant number of espresso shots, that is).

How many cups of espresso can you safely drink in a day?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, how many cups of espresso a person can safely drink in a given day is all about the caffeine content. With that in mind, there’s no safe limit for daily cups of espresso per se, but rather a maximum recommended amount of caffeine: about 400 milligrams per day for the average adult, according to the Mayo Clinic. Of course, since one ounce of espresso contains 63 milligrams of caffeine, the powers of division reveal that the average person can safely consume just over six ounces of espresso per day (or 6.35 ounces, to be exact).
Does that mean you should pour yourself a six-pack of espresso every morning before you leave the house? Of course not. After all, the 400-milligram estimate takes into account a person’s entire day from start to finish – not just the morning. In addition, there are other individual factors to consider when determining how much caffeine (and therefore espresso) is safe for a person to consume during the day.
For example, people known to be sensitive to caffeine will want to reduce their intake, as will children under the age of 18. And while pregnant women don’t need to avoid caffeine (or espresso) altogether, it’s recommended that they limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams or less per day – meaning a pregnant woman can drink up to three ounces of espresso without drastic fear (via Harvard University).

It can make you feel more alert and energetic

“Drinking espresso gives you an energy boost” is the kind of sentence we’d write if we were trying to impress voters for the Most Obvious Statement of All Time awards (there are no such awards). Of course, the notion that caffeine causes an increase in overall alertness and energy is about as well-known as a fact can be. In other words, is it really a surprise to discover that this over-caffeinated type of coffee provides a substantial energy boost when consumed?
The exact mechanisms that allow caffeine to boost energy levels are quite complex (physiologically speaking). But without delving too deeply into the underlying chemistry, it’s helpful to know that caffeine (like the 63 milligrams found in each ounce of espresso) increases cortisol levels in the body-which, in turn, can increase feelings of alertness in the short term.
In addition, the intense caffeine boost from espresso can also improve mental focus and concentration, making it a popular choice for those who need a quick pick-me-up during a busy day.

Potential cognitive benefits

Beyond its immediate energizing effects, regular consumption of espresso has also been linked to potential long-term benefits for cognitive function. Several studies have suggested that caffeine, the primary active ingredient in espresso, may have a positive impact on memory, attention, and overall brain health.
Research has shown that caffeine can improve cognitive performance by increasing alertness, improving reaction time, and enhancing mental clarity. It may also help prevent age-related cognitive decline and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. However, it’s important to note that the effects may vary depending on individual sensitivity to caffeine and other factors.

Possible digestive effects

While espresso is generally well tolerated by most people, some people may experience digestive effects with regular consumption. The high caffeine content in espresso may stimulate the production of stomach acid, which may cause acid reflux, heartburn, or gastrointestinal discomfort in sensitive individuals.
In addition, espresso’s stimulating effect on the digestive system may increase bowel movements and possibly cause diarrhea in some individuals. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your espresso consumption if you experience digestive problems.

Possible sleep disturbances

As a stimulant, espresso may disrupt sleep patterns if consumed too close to bedtime or in excessive amounts. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for promoting sleep and relaxation. As a result, drinking espresso in the late afternoon or evening can disrupt sleep and make it difficult to fall asleep or maintain deep sleep throughout the night.
To avoid sleep disturbances, it’s advisable to limit espresso consumption in the latter part of the day and be mindful of your overall caffeine intake.

Interactions with medications and medical conditions

It’s important to consider the potential interactions between espresso and certain medications or health conditions. Caffeine can interact with several medications, including certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and heart medications. It may also worsen symptoms in people with conditions such as anxiety disorders, high blood pressure, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications, it’s recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider to determine how espresso consumption may affect you.

Moderation is the key

As with most things in life, moderation is key when it comes to espresso consumption. While espresso can provide a quick energy boost and potentially offer cognitive benefits, excessive consumption or sensitivity to caffeine can lead to adverse effects.
If you enjoy espresso as part of your daily routine, it’s important to be mindful of your overall caffeine intake and listen to your body’s signals. Pay attention to how espresso affects your energy levels, sleep patterns, and digestion. Adjust your intake accordingly to ensure that it enhances your well-being without causing any negative effects.
Remember that everyone has a different tolerance for caffeine, and what works for one person may not work for another. By practicing moderation and being aware of your body’s reactions, you can enjoy the pleasures of espresso while maintaining a healthy balance in your daily life.

Bottom line

Espresso, with its rich flavor and strong caffeine content, has become a favorite beverage for many coffee lovers. When consumed in moderation, espresso can provide an energizing boost, potentially improve cognitive function, and offer a pleasurable sensory experience.
However, it’s important to consider individual factors such as caffeine sensitivity, overall health, and medication interactions. By understanding the potential effects of espresso and listening to your body’s cues, you can make informed decisions about your daily espresso consumption and ensure a positive and enjoyable experience.
So go ahead and enjoy your daily espresso, knowing that when consumed responsibly, it can be a delightful addition to your daily routine, providing both pleasure and potential benefits to your overall well-being.


Is it safe to drink espresso on a daily basis?

Yes, it is generally safe to drink espresso every day as long as it is consumed in moderation and within the recommended daily caffeine limit of approximately 400 milligrams for the average adult.

How much caffeine is in espresso compared to regular coffee?

Espresso contains significantly more caffeine per ounce than regular coffee. On average, an ounce of espresso contains about 63 milligrams of caffeine, while a standard cup of drip coffee only contains about 12 to 16 milligrams per ounce.

Does drinking espresso improve cognitive function?

Regular consumption of espresso has been associated with potential cognitive benefits due to its caffeine content. Caffeine can increase alertness, improve reaction time, and enhance mental clarity. It may also have a positive effect on memory and attention.

Can drinking espresso cause digestive problems?

While espresso is generally well tolerated, some people may experience digestive effects such as acid reflux, heartburn, or gastrointestinal discomfort due to the high caffeine content. It may also increase bowel movements and possibly cause diarrhea in sensitive individuals.

Can drinking espresso affect your sleep?

Yes, drinking espresso too close to bedtime or in excessive amounts can disrupt sleep patterns. Caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter responsible for promoting sleep and relaxation. It’s advisable to limit the consumption of espresso in the last part of the day to avoid sleep disturbances.

Are there any interactions between espresso and medications or health conditions?

Yes, the caffeine in espresso can interact with certain medications, including antibiotics, antidepressants, and heart medications. It may also worsen symptoms in people with anxiety disorders, high blood pressure, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have an underlying medical condition or are taking any medications.

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