Is Espresso Bad for You? (Benefits and Drawbacks)

Is Espresso Bad for You?

It’s quite common for to start the morning off with a latte, or maybe a cappuccino, or perhaps an americano, which is straight espresso topped with hot water. Many people drink coffee and espresso throughout their day. This begs the question, is this healthy or is espresso bad for you?

Drinking espresso is not inherently bad for you. It may be wise to stray away if you have heart or cholesterol issues that could be exacerbated by this unfiltered form of coffee. Espresso drinking will not be the cause of these problems, either though. In fact, espresso tends to have some benefits such as improved concentration and high antioxidant levels.

Stick with me for a while here because I’ll go over the benefits of espresso as well as any potential risks. It helps to be informed, and that’s what we are here for! So, keep reading to learn whether espresso is healthier than coffee, and when it might not be your best option.

Is Espresso Healthier than Coffee?

Coffee and espresso are essentially the same product, created in a different way.

What does that mean, exactly?

Well, one is not necessarily better than the other.

Coffee tends to be filtered through paper or mesh filters, while espresso is considered an ‘unfiltered’ version of the product. Coffee takes some time to make as the hot water drips through the ground up coffee beans. Meanwhile, espresso is a much shorter, higher impact, process. In that process, the hot water, extra pressure, and very finely ground coffee beans combine into a strong drink.

Is It Bad to Drink Espresso Every Day?

This is a question that tends to be a bit more personal. Every person reacts differently to caffeine. While one person may be just fine, another might not be able to handle as much.

Some people might be able to drink espressos back-to-back with no problem. Others might find that espresso every day causes them to get less sleep or rely on the caffeine.

As a general premise, no, it is not bad to drink espresso every day.

Now, if you’re talking an espresso drink that comes with 3 pumps of a sugary flavor, that might change.

What Are the Negative Effects of Espresso?

The negative effects of espresso are the same as you’ll hear any time you drink too much caffeine.

Here are some negative affects you might experience:

  • Insomnia
    • If you drink caffeine too late in the day, you could be just fine. On the other hand, you may find that you have a hard time sleeping at night. The next day, you’ll need more caffeine, and the cycle will continue.
  • Headaches
    • Some people find that they get headaches when drinking too much espresso, because it is stronger than regular coffee.
  • Dehydration
    • On a similar note, caffeine could dehydrate you slightly. This will manifest in a more apparent way if you go from drinking no caffeine to espresso daily.
  • Anxiety
    • Caffeine, especially espresso, may also exacerbate symptoms of anxiety in certain people. Don’t take my word for this one, though. This is something you want to talk to your doctor about, especially if you are on certain medication.
  • Increased Heart Rate
    • Espresso may increase your heart rate, which could leave you feeling shaky or add to any anxiousness.
  • Caffeine Dependency
    • Some people may not be impacted, while others may become dependent on their daily espressos. Moderation is always a good policy to follow if you are unsure of how your habits may form.

Is Espresso Bad for Your Kidneys?

Caffeine itself can place a strain on your kidneys. Anything from coffees and teas to soda, espresso, and even certain foods can interfere with your kidneys.

Why, exactly is this?

Caffeine is a stimulant. That is what helps you to stay awake or gives you that boost throughout the day. As a stimulant, it can increase your blood flow, blood pressure, and, by proxy, the stress on your kidneys and their functions.

Doctors have found that excessive caffeine intake is often linked to kidney stones in certain people. We won’t get into this, but it is not a fun process.

On that note, people with certain kidney functions are predisposed to problems, and caffeine isn’t the main cause.

Coffee and espresso are deemed safe by doctors, even for those with kidney disease.

The key? Moderation.

Is Espresso Bad for Your Heart?

Espresso happens to be good for your heart health, when consumed in moderation.

There is very little risk of heart disease or heart attack linked to drinking espresso or other caffeinated beverages consistently.

If you have an underlying heart condition or sensitivity, caffeine in espresso could cause increased heart palpitations.

Is Espresso Bad for Your Cholesterol?

Caffeine could raise your cholesterol a bit, which might negatively impact someone with existing issues.

Specifically, drinking 3-5 espressos daily contributes to a significant raise in cholesterol levels in both men and women.

So, as long as you can refrain from drinking lattes from 7am to 5pm, you should be alright. Though, if you are aware of already-high cholesterol levels, you should check in with your doctor about your caffeine intake.

Is Espresso Bad for Your Teeth?

Coffee, and espresso, can be quite acidic which will lead to enamel erosion over time.

This is the case, though, for many drinks that are not water. It may cause bacteria to grow in your mouth, which will cause bad breath especially if you are not drinking enough water.

There is also a lot of discussion around coffee-stained teeth, because of the dark color and strength of the beverage. Some people recommend drinking espresso drinks through a straw, to avoid as much contact with the teeth.

If you brush your teeth after coffee, like you would after a meal, this should not be a major concern.

Is Espresso Bad for Pregnancy?

Okay, let’s see if you can guess the answer here.

Espresso is perfectly safe during pregnancy…in moderation.

One to two shots of espresso are just fine for pregnant people to consume. About 8 ounces of brewed or drip coffee are also alright.

Caffeine will make everyone feel different during this period, and you may find that you prefer to avoid it. However, it should not cause any issues if you continue to drink your routine cappuccino in the morning and a coffee in the afternoon.

Always be sure to consult with your OBGYN/doctor when consuming caffeine during pregnancy.

How Many Shots of Espresso a Day is Okay?

When we talk about coffee specifically, up to 4 or 5 cups a day is safe for the public. This is about 400-500mg of caffeine.

You can expect that an espresso, or 2, are totally safe, as well. If a pregnant person can safely consume 2 shots of espresso daily, 3 will certainly not hurt the general population.

Remember, coffee has ‘more’ caffeine than espresso, but espressos are smaller. So, per ounce, espresso has much more caffeine.

Benefits of Espresso

Espresso can be quite beneficial, actually.

Here are the top 5 benefits you might expect when consuming espresso:

  • High Antioxidant Levels
    • You’ll find that espresso offers a concentrated version of the antioxidants that coffee boasts. Polyphenols, cafestol, and hydro cinnamic acids are a few of the antioxidants found in espresso. They offer anti-inflammatory, disease prevention, and other properties.
  • Improved Concentration
    • Espresso helps to boost the dopamine in your brain, which can help you to focus during the day.
  • Low Calorie
    • One ounce of straight espresso has about 3 calories, quite similar to the 0 calories in water. You’ll get the benefits of caffeine without the added sugar or calories. You’ll also avoid the crash that comes with this.
  • Improved Digestion
    • Ever had a bit of an upset stomach after drinking a latte? That’s not necessarily a bad thing! It means that the espresso is kickstarting your digestion.
  • Improved Mood
    • As a stimulant, espresso can help to increase your positive mood throughout the day.

Is Espresso Good for Weight Loss?

Espresso can help with weight loss because it aids in your overall physical performance.

The caffeine can help you to work harder in the gym while making the workouts less intense overall. It can also help you to avoid muscle soreness, making it easier to get back into the next day’s work out!

Espresso has many benefits and drinking one about half an hour before a workout will give you similar benefits to pre-workout.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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