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How much coffee is too much coffee?

Coffee. It’s one of the most commonly consumed and loved beverages across the world (second only to tea). For decades, the health effects and benefits of drinking coffee have been fiercely debated. With conflicting media articles about whether coffee is healthy or not, you’d be forgiven if you’re a little confused!
 
 
The health risks
While coffee has health benefits for many people, it is not a drink for everyone. Coffee contains a high amount of caffeine, which some people can be sensitive to. If this is you, you might notice digestive upsets, trouble with sleeping, increased heart rate, jitters or feelings of anxiety following coffee consumption. Coffee (or more specifically caffeine) is recommended to be limited or avoided by pregnant women, people with high blood pressure and children. Always speak to your GP for individual advice about the safety of consuming coffee.
 
The health benefits
The overall research on coffee is however overwhelmingly positive! If you’re lucky enough to not suffer any side effects, then some of the health benefits include:
  • Improved mood and mental alertness (I’m sure we’ve all noticed this after a morning coffee)
  • Improved endurance and sports performance
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, some neurological diseases and some cancers.
  • Possible increase in life expectancy
Before you get too excited, most of the research is based on consuming black coffee (without milk and sugar). If you’re having 3-4 cappuccinos with sugar each day, it may not be as healthy. While milk is a healthy everyday drink, choose reduced-fat varieties and take into consideration your overall intake of dairy (for reference, adults aged 19-50 are recommended to consume 2.5 serves of dairy each day).
 
Cheers to coffee!

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