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Is Coffee Bad for COPD? Expert Tips You Need to Know

a cup of coffee

Since coffee is such a popular drink and a part of so many people’s routines, finding out its effects on COPD is important. But the truth is that the science on this can be a bit contradictory.

Here, we give you a brief rundown of current research, though we recommend talking to your doctor about what’s best for you.

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Is Coffee Bad for COPD?

There are conflicting studies about whether coffee is good or bad for COPD. This relatively recent study by the Journal of Pulmonology shows that caffeine had no significant effect on COPD. However, the study only included 90 patients, and even the Journal indicated that they couldn’t reach definitive conclusions because of the sample size.

Meanwhile, a comprehensive review of studies that include coffee consumption and respiratory diseases found that you are more likely to develop COPD if you drink coffee. But again, this study was limited, and the overall conclusion links coffee to being a part of a healthy lifestyle and reducing the chances of respiratory morbidity.

So, while coffee could be bad for people with COPD, it’s more likely that coffee consumption has no negative effects on COPD and might even be beneficial.

woman holding a cup of coffee
Image Credit: Kira auf der Heide, Unsplash

Tips for Coffee Consumption With COPD

Just because you can probably drink coffee if you have COPD doesn’t mean you can start downing as many cups as you want whenever you like. While some studies show no negative effects or even indicate positive effects of coffee consumption and COPD, there are a few things that you need to do to get the results that you want.

First, you need to limit your coffee consumption. Too much caffeine can create problems, so the more cups you drink, the more you increase your risk. You can always switch to decaf coffee if necessary.

Second, you need to consider the time of day that you drink coffee. Increased levels of caffeine can affect your sleep patterns, so drinking coffee later in the day can lead to problems with your COPD. Getting enough sleep is a huge part of keeping your condition under control.

Stop drinking caffeinated coffee around noon, but if you can’t cut it out completely, you can switch to decaf for the second half of the day.

Does Coffee Cause Cancer?

While there were a few unfounded links to coffee causing cancer a few years ago, the truth is that coffee does not cause cancer. The American Cancer Society highlights that coffee can lower the risk of certain cancers.

While coffee might lead to various problems, cancer isn’t one of them. In fact, if you’re looking to add caffeine to your diet, coffee is one of the healthiest ways that you can do so.

pouring brewed coffee into a mug
Image Credit: Natalia Belay, Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Coffee

Before we go into of health benefits of coffee according to John Hopkins University, it is important to note that sugar, creamer, and other flavorings typically put into coffee can have negative effects. But if you’re drinking your coffee black, there are plenty of potential benefits, including a lowered risk for coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, kidney disease, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon cancer.

Health Risks of Coffee

While there are plenty of potential health benefits of coffee, you can definitely overdo it. Coffee has a large amount of caffeine, which can lead to various health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, too much caffeine can temporarily raise your blood pressure and increase cholesterol levels.

That said, the Mayo Clinic also highlights that for most users, coffee is a beneficial part of their diet, and you typically only need to consider cutting back if you’re noticing adverse side effects.

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While coffee seems fine to drink if you have COPD, due to the conflicting studies and the intricacies that might affect your specific situation, we highly recommend talking to your doctor about whether you should drink coffee if you have COPD.

Your doctor can give you advice on whether to drink coffee, as well as how much and when if they think that it’s fine. Due to how important this topic is, don’t take a risk; see what a medical professional has to say.

See Also: Is Coffee Bad for Gout? What to Know!

Featured Image Credit: Anastasia Eremina, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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