Can Coffee Affect Breathing?

Have you ever had the sensation to be short of breath when carrying a bag of groceries or climbing up a flight of stairs? Your shortness of breath may be due to your morning beverage. Have you ever wondered, Can coffee affect breathing?

Drinking too much coffee can cause a temporarily increased heart rate, which in turn can leave you feeling out of breath. Coffee may affect breathing. Caffeine may cause you to feel short of breath if you have certain conditions such as heart disease that is worsened by too much caffeine. Caffeine can be used to treat shortness of breath too as it acts as a bronchodilator. Since coffee contains caffeine, the caffeine overdose can lead to side effect symptoms such as …

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Light headedness
  • Heart palpitations and
  • Chest pains.

The recommended dosage of caffeine is 400mg per day. This works out to roughly 4 cups of coffee per day depending on how you make it. If you are sensitive to caffeine, perhaps monitor your caffeine intake and be sure to consult your local doctor should you continue experiencing shortness of breath.

Can Coffee Affect Breathing?

Caffeine, though acts as a bronchodilator and widens the airways. This can be particular helpful to people who are suffering from asthma. Strangely as it seems, caffeine can either leave you short of breath or assist in opening your air passages to make breathing easy.

Can Coffee Leave you Short of Breath?


If you are consuming moderate amounts of caffeine then you shouldn’t need to worry. The side effects of drinking less than 4 cups of coffee a day are minimal. If though, you are sensitive to caffeine, perhaps monitor your intake and have 2 cups of coffee a day, until your body becomes accustomed to the caffeine.

Ingesting high amounts of caffeine can also pose a risk to people with heart problems. This may lead to another phenomenon known as tachycardia.

Tachycardia is a condition that makes your heart beat more than 100 times per minute. Since blood is pumping faster than usual, you may need to take deeper breaths to keep up with the blood flow. This can leave you feeling shot of breath. Several things can cause Tachycardia, including sudden stress, high or low blood pressure and drinking too many caffeinated beverages – in this case, coffee.

The overconsumption of caffeine has other related drawbacks that have a domino effect when it comes to shortness of breath.


Coffee will not directly affect your breathing. The overconsumption of caffeine has other related drawbacks that have a domino effect when it comes to shortness of breath. Perhaps the elevated heart rate forces the body to take deeper breaths to keep up with the required blood flow. When you stand or do a task that requires a bit more effort, you may notice yourself feeling short of breath due to other caffeine-related side effects. More studies are being conducted in this field.

One thing is for certain, do not take shortness of breath lightly. Should you experience shortness of breath, be sure to consult your doctor on the matter. People who suffer from anxiety or are sensitive to caffeine need to monitor their caffeine intake so as not to experience any negative effects of drinking coffee.

Negative Effects of Coffee

Caffeine can be an easy go-to, to give you the boost of energy you need to get you through a tough study session or a long day at the office. What is important to note though, is that excessive consumption of caffeine is detrimental to a person’s health. There are a few reasons why you should consider cutting down your caffeine intake.

  • It can disrupt sleep.
  • Caffeine can cause dehydration.
  • Caffeine can upset your digestion.
  • Excessive caffeine can affect your mood.
  • Caffeine can reduce your absorption of nutrients.

You may want to cut back if you are drinking more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (or the equivalent) and you have side effects such as:

  • Migraines and headaches.
  • Insomnia and an inconsistent sleeping pattern.
  • Nervousness or anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Frequent urination or inability to control urination (severe cases).
  • A fast-resting heartbeat (over 70 bpm).
  • Muscle tremors.
  • Shortness of breath.

Have you ever thought of decaf perhaps as an option? The drink itself gives you the taste of coffee with no caffeine side effects. Often restaurants prescribe decaf coffee to their customers after dinner so that people do not stay up at night, yet still, have the lovely taste of coffee to end their evening with.

Can Coffee Affect Breathing – Asthma

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and many energy drinks we consume. Caffeine is a drug very similar to Theophylline – a drug used by asthma patients. Theophylline is a bronchodilator drug that is taken to open up the airways in the lungs and therefore relieves the symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing, coughing and breathlessness.

Scientists have concluded that caffeine has the same effect on the lungs as theophylline. A review found that even small amounts of caffeine can improve lung function for up to four hours. This may be helpful when exercising. Caffeine may be used to open the airways in order to enhance breathing.

Caffeine here can aid ones breathing, instead of creating shortness of breath. A home remedy for smokers or people who suffer from asthma is to have a strong cup of black coffee. The caffeine found in coffee aids in breathing and assists you to catch your breath. If you have tried this home remedy before, let us know in the comments, your experiences with using coffee to treat shortness of breath.

A home remedy for people suffering to breathe is – Coffee

Having Caffeine before exercise

Due to its benefits, caffeine consumption often takes place before a run. It is important to note that it can be ingested during a run as well. Different studies have recommended different amounts to consume.

The recommended caffeine dosage ranged from 3 to 7 milligrams of caffeine for every kilogram of body weight. Most running sources site 5mg/kg as the recommended dosage.

Should you start experimenting with caffeine be sure to start off slow. Start taking doses of 2-3mg of caffeine per kg of body weight. Should you require more caffeine, up the dosage. It is important to note that taking more than 7mg/kg is NOT recommended.

For the average male. If you weigh about 70 kilograms your recommended caffeine dosage would sit at roughly 360mg of caffeine. It is important to note that one cup of coffee contains roughly 80-110mg of coffee. That means you would have to drink roughly over 3 cups of coffee to get your dose.

For the average female. If you weigh about 56 kilograms your recommended caffeine dosage would roughly sit about 280mg of coffee. So, a female runner looking to get her caffeine running fix would look to drink just over 2 cups of coffee.

Most researched sources state that the timing of your caffeine intake is not an issue. A person can drink coffee an hour before a run and still enjoy the benefits of caffeine. The effects of caffeine last for hours so you do not have to drink coffee just before your run.

To find the best dose of caffeine and timing for you, start at the lowest recommended amount and see how your body responds. Since caffeine will dehydrate you, remember to drink a lot of water. Do not try anything on race days. Experts recommend experimenting with your caffeine intake on training days so as not to spoil your race.

In Conclusion – Can Coffee Affect Breathing?

Drinking too much coffee can cause a temporarily increased heart rate, which in turn can leave you feeling out of breath. Coffee may affect breathing. Caffeine may cause you to feel short of breath if you have certain conditions such as heart disease that is worsened by too much caffeine.

Caffeine can be used to treat shortness of breath too as it acts as a bronchodilator.

Coffee will not directly affect your breathing. The overconsumption of caffeine has other related drawbacks that have a domino effect when it comes to shortness of breath. Perhaps the elevated heart rate forces the body to take deeper breaths to keep up with the required blood flow.

When you stand or do a task that requires a bit more effort, you may notice yourself feeling short of breath due to other caffeine related side effects. More studies are being conducted in this field.

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2 Responses

  1. Mandy says:

    Awesome issues here. I am very glad to look your article.
    Thank you so much and I’m having a look forward to touch
    you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  2. Jo says:

    I can’t breathe at night while sleeping without a cup of coffee before bed. I have tried water before bed and I can’t breathe while sleeping.

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