Coffee has become the universal peacemaker for American evangelical circles. Millennial church culture is characterized by church grounds brewing coffee grounds.

 While roasting java with fellowship is a great recipe, it does have some dangerous side effects. In 2011 there were 20,000 reported caffeine related emergency room visits in the United States which was a 36% increase from 2010. Is the rise in caffeine consumption killing us? Not necessarily, though our espresso buzz does come with consequences so here are 5 ground rules for healthy coffee sipping:


1. Daily Limit--Caffeine in coffee is generally a safe stimulant. The Food Drug Administration (FDA) stated that 100mg-200mg of caffeine per day is a safe. Depending on your choice of brew, a 6 oz cup of coffee can range from 65mg-180mg. Reading your labels and doing the math, this roughly boils own to 1-3 cups a day.


2. Guard Your Heart Rate--A side effect of caffeine consumption is increased heart rate. A healthy resting heart rate (RHR) can range from 40-100 beats per minute. Typically, the lower your RHR is in the range, the healthier you are. Regularly or excessively stimulating your body with caffeine alters the RHR which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and higher blood pressure.


3. Adults Only Please--Children, especially young children are highly sensitive to caffeine. The FDA recommends a maximum of 45mg of caffeine per day in children...that is a maximum, not an allowance. The physiological response and sensitivity to caffeine in children is much more intense than adults. Not only will caffeine stimulate hyperactivity in children, it will also heighten nervous and anxiety disorders not to mention they will have a difficult time getting to bed. Resist the temptation to serve that sweet frappucinno to kids.


4. Set a Curfew--Metabolizing caffeine takes anywhere from 4-6 hours. This means the coffee is stimulating your system well after consumption. Set a caffeine curfew 6 hours before you hit the sack. If you have an automatic brew timer on your coffee machine, the hot fresh java will be waiting for you in the morning!


5. Brush Your Teeth--Coffee stains teeth and seems to linger on breath. Brushing your teeth after coffee consumption is an easy way to keep the pearly whites white while keeping your breath fresh for fellowship.


An old Lutheran joke claims coffee to be the "third sacrament" after baptism and communion. At minimum, coffee is deeply grounded in Christian communities. For years I have brought a carafe of home brewed coffee for my Saturday Morning YOGATHEA® Christian Yoga + Meditation Class. Hopefully your church cafe serves tasty brew and you can keep these ground rules for healthy sipping.

Hoeger, W.W.K., & Hoeger, S.A., (2013) Lifetime Physical Fitness & Wellness. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.