Thursday, 5 March 2015

Is Coffee Good for You?

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in the USA has recently advised that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily does not appear to be associated with long term health risks (unless you add sugar) and can actually reduce risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes (Source: Bloomberg). Some have also suggested that caffeine consumption may help to protect against developing dementia although the Alzheimers Society is somewhat cautious about this (See Does Caffeine Help Prevent Dementia?).

On the other hand, it is widely recognized that caffeine can keep you awake and exacerbate anxiety. The NHS website says: 'Drinking too much caffeine can make you more anxious than normal. This is because caffeine can disrupt your sleep and also speed up your heartbeat. If you are tired, you are less likely to be able to control your anxious feelings.' (Source: Managing Generalised Anxiety Disorder).

Therefore whether it's wise for you to drink caffeine may depend on your individual nature and circumstances. Looking at the pros and cons as highlighted above, I would say that if you are prone to anxiety or other mental health difficulties or are not sleeping well, then it's usually sensible to avoid caffeine. If this doesn't apply to you, assuming the guidance at the top of this post is correct, enjoying some coffee may actually be of some benefit.

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