But first – coffee.
The mantra of many a singleton nursing a hangover or a parent feeling the effects of a broken nights sleep.
The nations love of coffee is indisputable, according to the British Coffee Association, in the UK we drink 55 million cups of the stuff a day!
Rarely a week goes by without mention in the media of the supposed benefits or harmful effects of a simple cup of joe, here at Myvitamins we investigate the facts.
How much is safe?
A small cup of instant coffee from home contains around 50 mg of caffeine, whilst a large Starbucks latte packs nearly 300 mg per mug.
Doctors advise a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine a day for most healthy adults, so how many cups you can have safely a day really depends on portion size.
What are the benefits?
- It could help you lose weight. Stick to a cup of black coffee at just 10 calories a cup and as well as being low in calories, it could help work as a mild appetite suppressant.
- It could help you live longer. According to the study conducted by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can lower the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological disease such as Parkinson’s, type 2 diabetes and even suicide.
- It lowers your risk of diabetes. Research suggests the more coffee people drink, the lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. One study found a 7% decrease for each daily cup.
- It could aid your workout. Drinking a cup of black coffee 20-30 minutes before a workout is proven to help gym-goers keep going for up to 30% longer.
- It could help you stay alert. The effects of caffeine on concentration are long-proven, perhaps why most of us need it to function in a morning!
- It could help fight Alzheimer’s. In one study, 3-5 cups per day were linked to a 65% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the risks?
- Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200mg a day.
- People with anxiety can find that consuming caffeine perpetuates feelings or restlessness and irritability.
- You could need to loo more. Caffeine stimulates and increases the contractions in the bowel, which pushes out waste faster than normal. This could also mean that nutrients from food have less time to be absorbed as they pass through the tract.
- Funny bones. According to a study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research in 2006, excessive consumption of caffeine could raise your risk of osteoporosis.
- Weight gain. The average chain-shop latte contains around 180 calories, so ditch the full-fat milk and syrup if you don’t want to pile on the pounds.
Try our Beanies range for a low-calorie coffee fix, available from Myvitamins.