Coffee contains caffeine which is proven to have some health benefits.
In terms of cognitive effects, coffee can increase alertness and wakefulness, improve performance on memory tasks and reaction time. An analysis of 11 studies published in 2017 showed that the risk of depression decreased by 8% for each cup of coffee consumed in a day.
What is the recommended daily intake?
In order to have the benefit on reducing depression risk, caffeine consumption between 68mg/day and 509mg/day has shown to be most effective as per the above analysis.
However, there is a recommended safety limit of 400mg/day. There are adverse effects on health if over that limit.
In my opinion, 200-300mg caffeine would be reasonable. A cup of coffee (250ml) has approximately 100mg caffeine. That’s equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee a day.
On the other hand, it is better to limit the intake of caffeine to 400mg if you have heart diseases or high blood pressure as caffeine can increase blood pressure. The limit during pregnancy is 200mg/day. Caffeine can pass onto the fetus during pregnancy and into the breast milk which might affect the brain development and cause sleep disruption in infants.
Addiction and withdrawal from caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant which similar to other drugs, it can be addictive. Our body is possible to build up a tolerance to caffeine, which means you become used to its effects and need to take larger doses to achieve the same results. Over time, you may become physically and psychologically dependant on caffeine to function effectively.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms might include fatigue, crankiness, headache, sweating, muscle pain, and sometimes anxiety. The best way to withdraw from caffeine is to slowly reduce the consumption.
What other foods contain caffeine?
Be aware of other food sources that contain caffeine such as chocolate, tea, carbonated beverages and energy drinks. Some of the energy drinks contain as twice the amount of caffeine compare to a cup of coffee.
Are you a coffee drinker?
I am interested to see how many of you are a coffee drinker and how many cups of coffee you drink in a day. Please leave a comment if you wish.