Coffee Joint Pain…True or Myth?

Many have recently been wondering if coffee joint pain is true or a myth after a newly released study in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases has linked joint pain with high daily consumption of coffee.

You can google it and read all about it, but essentially what came out was that consuming too much coffee regularly can (or did) increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes our joints to ache because of inflammation.

Coffee Joint Pain...Yeah but How Much Coffee?

Coffee Joint PainI am drinking my regular cup of coffee in the morning and then I am done for the I going to get RA (rheumatoid disease)?

No, the results of that study is based on high consumption of coffee, and precisely:

  • Those that consumed 4 cups of coffee or so had twice the risk of those that didn't drink any coffee
  • Those that consumed 10 or more cups of coffee had 15 times the risk of developing RA and therefore suffer from joint pain

It needs to be mentioned that the study was conducted on something like 18,000 participants and that the consumption of coffee was associated to RA, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee that coffee causes joint pain.

So, You're Saying No More Caffeine?

If you're thinking that the solution is to start drinking 10 cups of decaf coffee...I am afraid that's not going to help much.

In fact, another 11-year study showed that people that had 4 or more cups of decaffeinated coffee a day had increased the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

So it's not really coffee without caffeine what causes arthritis, but maybe something else in coffee.

What is true tho, is that both coffee and caffeine are considered responsible for increasing the risk of inflammation, which CAN cause or increase joint pain.

It is in fact recommended to avoid coffee and caffeine if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis. That means avoiding any other substance that contains caffeine like coca-cola for example.

On the Other Hand...

...further studies couldn't replicate the same results that I just described. I did a bit of research and found that another study by Arthritis and Rheumatism also debunked the coffee joint pain theory.

They say that there is scant evidence of a link between coffee and decaf coffee and joint pain/arthritis.

Also, and this is quite important too, these new studies showed that most of the people that participated in the tests had also other bad habits.

We can safely assume that who is addicted to coffee (we can call more than 10 cups a day addiction right?) is often addicted to one or more other habits like smoking, alcohol, poor diet etc.

So a legit questions would be: is it coffee what increases the risk of joint pain, or smoke, alcohol, bad diet?

For now...we don't know. But hey, it doesn't mean that you can go ahead and keep having 10 cups of coffee a day!


At the end of the's controversial, we don't really know whether coffee causes joint pain or not. Unfortunately these studies don't prove anything, they just give us a bunch of theories with some truth in them.

Although, it is always a good idea to limit coffee and caffeine consumption.

And if you suffer from joint pain you can definitely try avoiding coffee for a week or two and let me know if you noticed some improvements...!


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3 Responses

  1. Haafeza kohestani
    3 days before I had not joints pain especially my hands joints but 2 nights before I drank a large cup of coffee and still l have joint pains and I am sure the cause is coffee
  2. Michelle
    I have rhuematoid arthritis and have basically become a pescaterian. I had a soy latte today and swear my joints actually feel better. So confused by all these articles stating its bad for my joints. By the way I rarely drink coffee.
  3. I don't have RA and my joints on the most part feel great at 63 years old. Just recently though I've been drinking more decaf coffee than usual and my joint pain is up, but I've also have been doing different activities that may be to blame. Nonetheless, I will drink tea for now and give my joints a rest. No, even if I get better I can't blame the decaf. Could be I just need to rest.