This Morning: Dr Sara issues advice to non coffee drinkers

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Coffee is loved for its high caffeine content, making it the perfect pick-me-up after a restless night or in the middle of a long day. This strong drink is known to have many physical benefits in the right quantities, but exactly how much can you safely drink each day? Here’s how to balance your coffee intake to enjoy the full advantages of these rich beans, without the unpleasant side effects.

How much coffee can you drink each day?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee and is known for its powerful effects on both the mind and body.

This strong compound is the main reason why drinking too much coffee is advised against, but exactly how much is too much?

According to the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) review of caffeine safety, moderate coffee consumption is typically defined as three to five cups per day.

While this may seem like a generous amount to drink each day, it should be noted this is generally only considered safe if the coffee is consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Dr Simoné Laubscher, registered nutritionist and formulate of WelleCo’s range of nutritional supplements said: “There is a long-standing debate about whether coffee is good or bad for you and, from my research, it seems to be a double-edged sword: while it can make you feel more alert, productive and motivated, for some it can lead to hyper, feeling anxious and unable to focus.

“Like most things in life, coffee is on a bell curve. When incorporated into a balanced diet and lifestyle, it has many health benefits – but taking too much can lead to poor health and addiction, as with red wine.”

Though there are many positive reasons to include coffee in your lifestyle, Dr Laubscher added it is important to “get your balance right” in order to safely enjoy this earthy drink.

What’s the safest way to drink coffee?

Three to five cups of coffee per day may be considered a safe quantity by the EFSA, but the way you drink it can have a significant impact on exactly how well your body responds to this energising drink.

Dr Laubscher said: “I recommend to my clients to have one good cup of coffee per day if they drink two litres of water.

“If they want a second coffee then no problem; but you need to hydrate with another 500ml of water.

“It’s all about your water to coffee ratio, so you get the upside and avoid the downside.”

Timing is also key when it comes to drinking cups of coffee as caffeine can reduce the absorption of key nutrients, like vitamin C.

For this reason, it is recommended you always enjoy your coffee outside of mealtimes and keep it out of your system while taking dietary supplements.

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What are the benefits of drinking coffee?

When enjoyed in a safe quantity, coffee can offer a range of health benefits.

According to, some of the main advantages of coffee include:

Improved digestion

A 2022 review supported by The Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), revealed coffee can help stimulate digestion, while offering potential protection against some digestive disorders, including gallstones and pancreatitis. said: “Coffee was found to stimulate production of the digestive hormone gastrin; and hydrochloric acid, present in gastric juice – both of which help break down food in the stomach.”

Boost sports performance

Dr J W Langer, a Danish physician, nutritional expert and lecturer in medical pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen said: “Many studies show that athletes who consume caffeine before a race or sports event are able to go faster, last longer and recover more quickly than athletes who do not have the extra boost.

“This applies especially in endurance events like long-distance running.”

Improved health

A 2017 study conducted in 10 European countries found the top coffee drinkers were 25 percent less likely to die during the 16-year-study, compared to the non-coffee drinkers.

Dr Laubscher said: “Coffee promotes heart health and, in particular, unfiltered coffee is a great source of cafestol and kahweol antioxidants, which are diterpene compounds that have been linked to cholesterol-balancing effects.

“Coffee is also now linked to preventing cancer due to the free radical scavenging antioxidants and also has long been associated with fat burning and appetite reduction.”

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