As a society, we are almost addicted to caffeine. We drink it in the morning expecting it to help wake us up, in the afternoon to boost our energy levels, on the way home from work or after a workout. It lurks from our lattes, teacups and energy drinks. That is why it is so easy to start drinking too much caffeine without being aware of it.

A study done in Portugal shows that a cup of coffee a day shouldn’t affect male fertility seriously, but greater amounts of caffeine may do so. This study found that heavy consumers of energetic beverages and food that contains caffeine may suffer from abnormal spermatogenesis – or, in other words, problems with sperm development and production.

Another reputable scientific body came to a similar conclusion. At the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine last year, researchers revealed their findings regarding the effects of caffeine on male fertility and sexual function.

These researchers found that a high male caffeine consumption reduces couples’ chances of conceiving. This study observed couples who underwent IVF within a six year period and analysed their alcohol and caffeine intake. Men who consumed more than 265 milligrams per day (take a look at our table below to get average amounts of caffeine in your favourite drinks) had only half the chance of conceiving compared to men who consumed less than 88 milligrams of caffeine per day.

High daily intake of caffeine will not only affect your fertility, but it can also cause other health effects such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, heart palpitations, stomach upset and muscle tremors.

In conclusion, a small cup of your favourite coffee a day shouldn’t do you any harm, but if you are trying to conceive, you should limit your caffeine intake. Take a look at the average amount of caffeine that can be found in popular beverages:

Espresso 30 ml 47-75 mg
Instant coffee 237 ml 27-173 mg
Latte or mocha 237 ml 63-175 mg
Black tea 237 ml 14-70 mg
Green tea 237 ml 24-45 mg
Coca-Cola 355 ml 23-35 mg
Diet Coca-Cola 355 ml 23-47 mg
Diet Pepsi 355 ml 27-37 mg
Pepsi 355 ml 32-39 mg
Red Bull 248ml 75-80 mg
Dark chocolate-coated coffee beans 28 pieces 336 mg
Chocolate chips 168 g 104 mg
Photo credit: trophygeek / Foter / CC BY