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Is it safe to drink coffee every day?

Is it safe to drink coffee every day?
‘Is it OK to drink coffee every day?’ I ask while sipping my third latte of the morning. They say everything is good in moderation, but how much coffee is too much? And should you ever take a break from caffeine?
 
It sort of depends on who you ask – and what research you reference. To help, we’ve ground up the reasons for and against drinking coffee regularly. So you can weigh up all the info and make the best decision for yourself.
 
One thing we will suggest, however, is chatting with a dietician or nutritionist to check if your coffee habits suit your health goals and constitution.
 
First, let’s look at some reasons to drink coffee daily:

Antioxidant hit

Not only does coffee give you a shot of energy (hello, 6am!) but it’s also packed with antioxidants. There are around 1000 in unprocessed coffee beans – with heaps more cropping up during roasting.
 
In fact, one 2005 study said, “nothing else comes close” to giving us as many antioxidants – even fruits and vegetables. Why? Because the body is better at absorbing the most antioxidants from coffee.
 
Given that antioxidants fight inflammation (the underlying cause of many chronic conditions) and protect cells from damage, it’s a darn good reason to have a daily brew.

More memory

Caffeine in coffee also seems to stimulate the parts of the brain linked with memory and concentration. An Austrian study found that when given 100mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee, human guinea pigs experienced a surge in brain activity – as well as better memory skills and reaction times compared to their caffeine-free comrades.

Happy hit

Could coffee make you happier? A National Institute of Health study suggests so. It found that people who drink 4 or more cups a day were 10% less likely to be depressed – compared to non-coffee drinkers. And no, caffeinated cola drinks don’t have the same effect. In fact, they have been shown to cause depression.

Other benefits

Coffee has also been shown to:
 
Reduce the risk of diabetes
Lower suicide risk
Enhance athletic performance
Reduce the risk of skin cancer
Boost metabolism
Be good for the liver

When is coffee ‘bad’ for you?

There’s always a flipside to health benefits. And with coffee, it’s no different.
 
For some people, coffee has been shown to:
  • Increase anxiety and irritability
  • Raise the risk of hypertension and blood pressure
  • Cause insomnia and poor sleep
  • Be addictive
So how can you ensure your daily coffee habits stays in balance? Switch between coffee, tea and herbal teas to reduce your caffeine intake. Just bear in mind that decaffeinated coffee does contain caffeine (it’s just less than the regular variety) and it doesn’t have all the health benefits.
 
It’s also recommended that we stick to a moderate amount – around 2-3 cups of coffee a day. Heavy coffee drinking is considered to be four or more cups a day.
 
And if you have trouble sleeping? You might want to skip coffee in the afternoon and evening. But again, chat with a health professional and find out what works for you.
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Topic: Nutrition

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