IS DRINKING COFFEE SAFE?
For most people, moderate consumption of coffee (up to four to five cups per day, or 400mg caffeine) is perfectly safe. Atthese levels, it doesn’t have any health risks, and as we can see below, it may have some benefits. It’s also very enjoyable!
WHAT IF I’M PREGNANT?
If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t have more than three to four cups of coffee a day – that’s about 300mg of caffeine.
IS COFFEE DEHYDRATING, DO I NEED TO DRINK MORE WATER FOR EVERY CUP OF COFFEE?
No – in fact, coffee in moderate amounts can contribute to your daily intake of fluid. Getting enough fluid is important –the British Dietetic Association recommends a minimum of 1.5 – 2 liters of fluid a day (or 6-8 cups) for example water, milk, fruit juice, tea or coffee.
IS CAFFEINE ADDICTIVE?
In moderate amounts, there’s no evidence that caffeine carries a serious risk of addiction.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS, AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT FOR HEALTH?
Antioxidants ‘mop up’ free radicals and can prevent the damage they do. Free radicals are waste products which we get from being exposed to tobacco smoke, radiation and so on.They can damage the cells in our bodies, and in the long term may cause all sorts of medical problems, including heart disease and cancer. Coffee is one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in many people’s diet.
- Coffee is the most popular drink in the world – two billions cups are drunk every day
- Coffee grows in more than 50 countries and is the second largest export in the world after oil (in dollar value)
- It is thought that the coffee tree originated in the province of Kaffa, in the area known today as Ethiopia. Coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian Wine
- The heavy tax on tea imposed in 1773 by Britain resulted in America switching from mainly drinking tea to coffee.To drink coffee was an expression of freedom
DRINKING A CUP OF COFFEE IS ONE OF LIFE’S SMALL BUT REGULAR PLEASURES. HOWEVER THERE IS SOME CONFUSION ABOUT WHETHER COFFEE AND CAFFEINE IS GOOD FOR YOU. LIKE ALL GOOD THINGS, MODERATION IS ADVISABLE, BUT IT’S REASSURING TO KNOW THAT SENSIBLE DAILY CONSUMPTION OF COFFEE MAY HAVE SOME BENEFITS ON YOUR HEALTH
FOUR TO FIVE CUPS A DAY IS PERFECTLY SAFE
- It is perfectly safe for the majority of people to drink four to five cups of coffee a day
- This recommendation is commonly referred to as ‘moderate consumption’
It is recommended that women who are pregnant or trying to conceive stick to 300mg of caffeine a day – approximately three to four cups of coffee
- These recommendations are based on the average amount of caffeine in a normal cup of coffee. Caffeine content can change depending on the size of your drink and how strong you like it
- Remember, caffeine is also found in other products
such as tea, cola, sports drinks and chocolate
COFFEE CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR FLUID INTAKE
- It is very important that we drink plenty of fluid everyday to remain hydrated – drinking coffee does contribute to your daily fluid intake
- Caffeine is a mild diuretic in large amounts, but
drinking a moderate amount of coffee is unlikely to
have a diuretic effect on the body
- The British Dietetic Association and The British Nutrition Foundation advise that coffee can count
towards the six to eight cups of assorted drinks you should drink every day to keep your body hydrated
HEALTH BENEFITS OF COFFEE
- Coffee is a major source of dietary antioxidants
- Antioxidants are thought to protect cells in the body from damage
- Research indicates that coffee contains high levels of antioxidants compared to other popular drinks such as tea and fruit juice
PROTECTION AGAINST DISEASE
Some research has suggested that drinking coffee on a regular basis may help protect against a range of diseases, including:
o Liver cancer
o Type II diabetes
o Alzheimer’s disease
o Parkinson’s disease
COFFEE, ALERTNESS AND CONCENTRATION
- Drinking coffee can make you feel more alert and increase concentration – this can help when you feel tired or lethargic
- If you feel drowsy when driving, find a safe place to stop and drink two cups of coffee, or a high caffeine drink, then take a short nap to let the caffeine kick in (as recommended by UK Department of Transport’s THINK! Road Safety Campaign)
DID YOU KNOW?
- Drinking a cup of coffee with an ibuprofen tablet can increase the painkilling effect
- A cup of coffee can help relieve the symptoms of a cold
- Drinking coffee before going to the gym can increase your stamina