Coffee consumption is deemed to be safe according to the latest research published in the British Medical Journal. You can read the review here:

Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes

The research in a nut shell suggests that there are more health benefits to drinking coffee than harm – thats 3-4 cups of coffee a day!

The review is quite extensive and found that drinking coffee would have a lower risk of a diseases such as a range of cancers, mortality, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers and depression.

It did state that drinking too much during pregnancy could be harmful as the half life of caffeine is doubled and potentially increases the risk of low birth weight, preterm birth and pregnancy loss.

Coffee consumption should also be avoided if your female and are at risk of fractures.

How much caffeine in my drink?

  • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg
  • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
  • one mug of tea: 75mg
  • one can of cola: 40mg
  • one 250ml can of energy drink: up to 80mg
  • bar of plain chocolate: less than 25mg
  • bar of milk chocolate: less than 10mg

Ref: BBC News

My Take On Coffee Consumption

As an Naturopath and Osteopath I am always talking about the health benefits of drinking water. We all know we must drink half our body weight in water daily but we never do! It is said that there are some trillion biochemical interactions that happen in our body every minute that are all dependent on water. When we are dehydrated – which caffeine does – it makes us go to the toilet more often as it is a diuretic.

Every 2% that you are dehydrated = 10% lack of concentration and performance. 

Yes there are health benefits to drinking it. Coffee beans are said to have very strong antioxidant properties which are anti-aging in nature. Caffeine is a stimulant BUT may be helpful to some for reasons like helping you wake up in the morning, keeping you alert when driving or even to improve your performance before a sporting event or workout in the gym!

Many people I speak with abuse these benefits, they drink too much, they drink it late, the add sugar, they add syrup, they drink poor quality coffee which is loaded with toxins and chemicals.

Do You Take Coffee To Bed?

Patients I speak with will say they drink 8 cups a day, a couple of cups of tea and eat chocolate and biscuits with them. As you can see via the bullet point list above, that is a lot! As mentioned above, coffee like medical drugs have a half life. That means that 50mg of coffee (of a 100mg of cup of instant) will be floating around in your blood stream 6 hours after you have drunk it. Try to drink your last cup by no later than 3-4pm so you can wind down prior to bed.

A Mocha or Flat White?

We know that adding sugar or having a mocha is naughty, but everyone still drinks it! Sugar like caffeine stimulates a part of our nervous system into a fight or flight mode – the sympathetic nervous system. Our body releases a cascade of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which makes us breathe faster and shallower. The heart rate goes up and we build up tension in our muscles. If done regularly enough can lead us to feeling more tired, achey and lead to adrenal fatigue.

It Makes You Want To Go…

Caffeine is an irritation to the lining of your gut, that is why it makes you evacuate your bowels in the morning, especially on an empty stomach. However, using caffeine to evacuate your bowels regularly can lead to constipation as it over excites the sympathetic part of your nervous system, the part that makes you either fight or flight.

Can it be linked to Musculoskeletal Problems?

Despite the BMJ review not finding any direct evidence to MSK problems, coffee is a diuretic and can lead to dehydration and affect the bodies joints, nervous system and connective tissues. This leads to slow healing and stiffness in the body

Some Take Home Points:

  • Drink your coffee in the morning rather than later in the day
  • Avoid adding sugar or opting for syrup
  • Try choose organic coffee
  • Add raw butter to your coffee
  • Add coconut oil to your coffee

I hope this helps

Tom Smith