Summary and conclusions

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When consumed in moderation, caffeine has mostly positive effects, mainly on alertness, well-being and both intellectual and physical endurance performance. Caffeine is a mild central nervous stimulant and lifelong caffeine consumption may decrease the risk of pathological conditions such as age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Caffeine does not seem to have significant adverse effects on cardiovascular function. Caffeine was shown not to lead to dehydration or to significantly affect bone health or gastro-intestinal functions.

In most people, moderate caffeine consumption, of around 400 mg caffeine or equivalent of up to 5 cups of coffee per day, can be enjoyed as part of a healthy balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Lower levels are recommended for pregnant women who are advised to limit caffeine intake to 200mg from all sources, as well as in children where the intake should be reduced because of lower body weight.  However, it is important to note that the individual reactions to caffeine may differ according to genetic variability and that individuals are advised to consume the amount of caffeine they feel comfortable with. Those who feel undesired effects should consult their physician.

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