The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Caffeine and Lung Disease

5 Aug 2017
| Under Lifestyle, Lung Disease | Posted by | 11 Comments

A Day in the Life of Your Average Caffeine Connoisseur

6:00 AM: The alarm goes off. Ringing, ringing, ringing. Snooze.

6:07 AM: The alarm goes off again. It only rings once before snooze is hit.

6:14 AM: The alarm goes off a third time. You finally turn it off as a sweet aroma washes into the room. You throw back the blankets and crawl out of bed.

6:20 AM: You brush your teeth, wash your face, and take your morning bronchodilators. Bunny slippers in tow, you pour your first cup of coffee.

6:45 AM: You finished reading the paper and pour your second cup of coffee.

7:30 AM: Shower, dressed, and ready for the door, you fill your favorite travel mug with the final cup of freshly brewed coffee.

8:30 AM: After battling the painful traffic of the morning commute, you stop at the Starbucks next to your office building. Double shot skinny vanilla latte with your name misspelled on the side. The usual.

10:00 AM: Two Monday morning meetings down, two to go. The best way to get through it: an espresso from the new office coffee machine.

12:00 PM: Lunch couldn’t come fast enough. A quick trip to Subway means a cold cut trio on whole wheat, a chocolate macadamia nut cookie, and a Coca-Cola.

2:45 PM: The afternoon fatigue has set in, so your team congregates in the office kitchen for coffee hour, but you swore you’d be healthier, so instead you opt for green tea.

7:00 PM: Finally, you’re home. Dinner plans include a small bowl of bean and sausage stew, a can of soda and the chance to watch a few I Love Lucy re-runs. As usual, you doze off and end up sleeping on the couch that night.

Where to Find Caffeine

For most people, the idea of going a whole day without caffeine seems crazy. Maybe you acknowledge your slight addiction to coffee, or maybe you don’t even realize how much caffeine you really consume each day. Caffeine can sneak into your diet in ways you don’t realize. Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of caffeine and lung disease.


Coffee is the go to for a caffeinated beverage. Drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, Americanos, flat whites and more all contain varying amounts of caffeine. Even decaffeinated coffee options, both brewed and instant, contain a small amount of caffeine.


While tea may seem like a healthier alternative, most teas contain a decent amount of caffeine. Even green tea contains caffeine, leaving drinkers with a small caffeine buzz.

Carbonated Beverages

Many carbonated beverages contain caffeine: sodas such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew and others, and even non-caffeinated varieties contain scant amounts of caffeine. Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Volt, Monster and Venom also contain large amounts of caffeine.

Chocolate & Other Foods

We often don’t think about caffeine popping up in the foods we eat. The biggest offender: chocolate. A candy bar, a cup of hot cocoa and a hot fudge sundae all contain caffeine. Another food with surprising caffeine content is macadamia nuts.

The Effects of Caffeine and Lung Disease

The Cons of Caffeine and Lung Disease

The verdict is still out on the impact that caffeine has on people with chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis. Historically, researchers believed that caffeine negatively affected sufferers because it quickens breathing. For individuals who experience difficulty breathing or have an inability to absorb large amounts of oxygen, this quickened breathing pattern could be dangerous.

Another danger of drinking caffeine with a lung disease is the potential for caffeine to interfere with prescribed medications. If you’re not sure whether caffeine will interfere with your medications, ask your doctor, who will be able to guide you in the right direction.

Although there are some cons to drinking caffeine if you have a lung disease, recent studies also suggest some pretty compelling pros.

The Pros of Caffeine and Lung Disease

In 2009, a study conducted at the University of Texas showed the potential for caffeine to actually improve lung function. The study looked at the amount of coffee consumed, smoking habits and pulmonary function. The results surprised some researchers. Smokers with lung damage actually showed an increase in lung function when they increased coffee consumption.

While caffeine is still being studied to determine whether it could be a potential treatment option for people with chronic lung diseases, there are currently other options. Some people are finding relief and quality of life improvement after receiving stem cell therapy from the Lung Institute. To learn more about stem cell therapy, contact the Lung Institute at (800) 729-3065.


  1. Lung Institute

    1 week ago


    Thank you for your comment. To learn more about stem cell therapy, locations, cost and more information, please call (855) 313-1149 to speak with a patient coordinator, who will be happy to assist you.


    Lung Institute

  2. Sue Eason

    2 weeks ago

    I would like info on stem cell therapy for COPDAnd inphysema…cost , location of facility , etc.

  3. Lung Institute

    2 weeks ago

    Hi Mary Jo,

    Thanks for your comment. We have clinics in Nashville, TN and Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, please contact a patient coordinator at (888) 510-7519.


    Lung Institute

  4. Mary jo O'Connor

    2 weeks ago

    Where is the closest lung inst to RACINE Wisconsin ?

  5. Peter Edwards

    2 weeks ago

    Nice article though I do not drink the amount of coffee, eat chocolate or drink tea. I would moderate the amount of FLuids that I consume. Though one thing i do if i feel a little chesty is take strong tea or coffee, as this helps to settle my chest a lot quicker then ventolin.

  6. PB

    10 months ago

    Dear Logan,

    We’re glad to hear you found this information helpful. Thanks for your comment.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  7. Logan

    10 months ago

    This website helped me a lot with my 7th grade science fair my question was does caffeine really affect your lungs and all my questions answered almost instantly its just amazingly perfect

  8. PB

    11 months ago

    Dear Tim,

    We haven’t heard of coffee as a way to soothe painful bronchial burning. However, we are glad to hear that you’ve found something that helps you. Please keep us updated about what you find, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  9. Tim

    11 months ago

    I looked up coffee and copd in the effort to find out WHY, when I have a painful bronchial burning, coffee soothes it completely away, like medicine.

  10. Cara Tompot

    2 years ago

    Currently, we do not have a clinic open in Houston, TX. We hope to have a clinic in Eastern Texas by the end of the year. Right now the closest clinic for you would be our Scottsdale, AZ location.

    We offer a couple of different stem cell therapy options: venous (blood-derived) and bone marrow. One of our patient coordinators can discuss which treatment options you may qualify for and the associated treatment process for each one. Our patient coordinators are available by phone at (855) 313-1149.

  11. Patsy Bolton

    2 years ago

    please provide more information on stem cell procedure. is there any doctor in Houston Texas using this procedure on COPD patients and other lung conditions?

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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