First things first –you don’t need to quit coffee *cue sigh of relief*. It even has some unexpected benefits to our health. ‘’Ok, but how many cups a day should I limit it to?’’, you may ask. The short answer is that up to 3-4 cups of black coffee a day seems to elicit health benefits. Like anything, moderation is key -consuming more than 4 cups a day may be associated with some health risks.
The health benefits:
The research on coffee is overwhelmingly positive. 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.>/li>
- 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).
The health risks:
While coffee has some 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.