Anemia is when your blood has a lower than normal count of red blood cells. Anemia can also occur if your red blood cells don’t contain enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood it’s red color and helps oxygen bind to the red blood cells, in order to be transported from the lungs to the rest of the body.


If you have anemia, your body will not get enough oxygen rich blood. The potential results of this are feeling tired or weak, experiencing shortness of breath, dizziness or headaches.


Severe or long lasting anemia can cause damage to your brain, heart and other organs. Very severe anemia can cause death.1


Impact of coffee and caffeine on anemia

  • Caffeine can worsen anemia
  • Coffee inhibits the absorption of iron
  • Coffee will therefore worsen anemia, or potentially cause it in those susceptible


Tea, coffee, and cocoa should not be consumed by anemic patients. These drinks contain polyphenols, which inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron (iron not bound to heme proteins). Non-heme iron is typically absorbed at a rate of 2-20%. Polyphenols reduce this rate, worsening anemia. 2,3



             1 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - What is Anemia?

           2 NutritionMD - Iron Deficiency Anemia: Nutritional Considerations

           3 George Mateljan Foundation - What is the difference between heme and non-heme iron?