This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Drink More Than One Cup of Coffee Every Day

Anyone up for a refill?

Americans love their coffee. According to a poll by YouGov, 53 percent of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee daily. And the National Coffee Association reports that the average American drinks a little more than three cups per day.

Besides being delicious, coffee can also impact your overall health. Here are seven things that happen to your body when you drink more than one cup of coffee every day.

What Happens to Your Body When You Drink More Than One Cup of Coffee Every Day

First things first: If you're drinking more than five cups of coffee daily or more than 400 milligrams per day, you're going a little overboard on coffee, per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But unless you're super sensitive to caffeine (as many people are), you'll likely reap quite a few benefits if you drink less than 400 mg of coffee per day—but there are a few things to keep in mind.

You may see improved alertness, concentration and energy levels

Caffeine really does provide a “boost.” “The caffeine found in coffee is a chemical stimulant that blocks receptors in the brain that causes fatigue,” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a nutritionist based in Miami, Florida. “It works to stimulate the nervous system which can lead to increased alertness, improved concentration and increased energy levels. This can help boost productivity at work or when studying, and help athletes increase their performance.”

Related: 31 Different Types of Coffee Drinks, All Explained

Your liver health may improve

If you have liver issues, you may want to pour yourself that extra cup. “Coffee has shown to have a positive effect on liver health, specifically for individuals with hepatitis B & C, NAFLD and alcoholic liver disease,” says Kayla Kopp, RD, LD, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.

She adds that the ingredients and botanical compounds in coffee have been shown to help prevent liver fibrosis, as well as body fat accumulation. "One study showed that this can be done by consuming more than two cups of coffee per day.”

Related: Is Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach Bad for You?

You'll hydrate—kind of

While caffeine is a diuretic, cups of coffee can count towards your hydration goals for the day, Ehsani says.

“Coffee does actually count towards meeting your daily fluid needs. However, it should not replace all the fluid in your diet,” she says. “The recommendation is 2.7 L for females, and 3.7 L for males according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The caffeine found in coffee is a diuretic so it will send you to the bathroom more often, but it won’t dehydrate you, as it's not causing you to lose more fluid than you are getting from the coffee.”

You might over-caffeinate

If you’re drinking more than one cup of coffee every day, be careful of your caffeine consumption—specifically regarding that 400 mg number.

“The suggested amount of caffeine per day is 400 mg. One 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 90 mg of caffeine,” says Kopp.

Additionally, she says, certain groups should avoid or limit their coffee intake, including children (especially during puberty), pregnant people (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests pregnant people keep their caffeine consumption below 200 mg per day), individuals with IBS, individuals with hypertension and individuals who suffer from anxiety.

"You may find that drinking coffee past a certain time of day leads to worsened sleep patterns too, so you'll want to avoid drinking coffee in the evening, as it can be difficult to go to sleep with its caffeine content,” Kopp says.

Related: Wait, Is It Bad To Put Milk in Your Coffee?

You may experience lower disease risk

Drinking coffee has been associated with a reduced risk of developing certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and depression.

“There are polyphenols found in coffee that contain both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation that causes disease,” says Ehsani.

Your mental health might improve

While caffeine can make anxious people jittery, if you struggle with depression, coffee may help you.

“As you may have noticed, our population really enjoys a hot cup of coffee in the winter time or a refreshing iced coffee in the summer. This may not only be because of the taste but because coffee has been shown to decrease depression in those who consume it,” says Kopp. “Specifically, consuming more than 68 mg/day and less than 509 mg/day has shown a positive effect.”

You may experience insomnia or poor sleep

Beware: The caffeine in coffee, especially more than one cup of coffee, may have a negative effect on your sleep.

“As coffee works to stimulate the brain and fight off fatigue, having too much of it or at the wrong time can cause poor sleep," says Ehsani. "The American Academy of Sleep Medicine argues that 400 mg of caffeine—even taken six hours before bedtime—can significantly disrupt sleep, and can reduce total sleep time by more than one hour."

Therefore, the timing of when you are having your last cup of coffee is important to plan out so it doesn’t cause insomnia or disruptive sleep.

Next up: Should You Be Worried About Mold In Your Coffee? 


  • Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian in Miami, Florida.

  • Kayla Kopp, RD, LD, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.