If you read the news, there’s a new article that comes out every week on whether coffee is good or bad for you. One week it’s hailed as a hero drink the next, we’re being advised to cut down on our coffee consumption. As caffeine lovers and coffee experts, we cut through the noise to help understand what’s what.
Firstly, tea and coffee are staples in most workplaces across the UK and despite being known as a nation of tea drinkers, both actually share the top spot for our most popular drink. Coffee has been increasing in popularity over the years, and as you’ll know today there are coffee shops on every high street. In fact, there are over 25,000 coffee shops to choose from in the UK, all offering a wide range of barista-style coffee drinks. In 2020, consumers spent over £4bn getting their caffeine fix from high street coffee shops.
According to the British Coffee Association, here in the UK, we consume around 95 million cups of coffee every day. We love good quality coffee, but is it really good for us? Well, the answer to that depends on a number of different factors from what type of coffee your choose to how much you drink.
As we mentioned before, overall there are many health benefits to coffee. Experts say some of the most potent effects of coffee may protect us from Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. It can also protect from various liver conditions such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and chronic liver disease.
A recent report even stated that coffee drinkers may live longer than non-coffee drinkers. The report also found coffee consumption was linked with the development of cardiovascular disease. Those with the lowest risk seen amongst those who consumed two to three cups of coffee a day. The report referenced is considered to be one of the most reputable in recent research history. It was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It was authored by Prof Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. It’s also one of the largest having studied 449,563 people aged between 40 and 69, with a follow-up 12 and a half years later.
Cons of coffee
Like everything, coffee should be consumed in moderation. Experts recommended not to exceed over 3 to 5 cups daily, or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine. However, if you’re pregnant this should be reduced.
Whilst most of us enjoy the caffeine boost our coffee gives us, it’s not suitable for everyone. If you have a heart condition or are sensitive to caffeine, you might want to switch to decaf.
For those who suffer from anxiety, cutting out caffeine may help as the caffeine can exacerbate symptoms and lead to an increased heart rate and jitters.
Other people who need to be careful with coffee are those with digestive issues as it can upset stomachs. If you’re someone that’s piling a lot of sugar into your coffee, then this can also cause health issues. Too much sugar will lead to weight gain and can damage teeth. Plus if you have diabetes, you’ll want to monitor how much sugar you add to your brew. Its health benefits depend on how you take your coffee as well, and determining the healthiest cup of coffee for you depends on your personal health goals. For example, if you’re trying to lose or maintain a certain weight, you might want to stick to black coffee or switch out full-fat milk to skimmed.
Finally, if you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep, avoid coffee just before bedtime as it can cause insomnia. Another coffee study found that consuming caffeine 6 hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by 1 hour. These effects can be stronger in older adults as it takes their bodies a longer time to process caffeine.
If you’re someone who is drinking a lot of coffee and exceeding the recommended 3 – 5 cups per day, you may want to consider cutting down. But be aware, if you’re cutting your caffeine drastically you may actually get withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms can include irritability, headache, fatigue, low energy, and poor concentration.
Enjoy your coffee
Overall, coffee’s health benefits far exceed coffee’s cons so if you’re a coffee lover, savour and enjoy your favourite cup. If you’re providing coffee at work, are you giving your team premium, barista-quality coffee to support their health and well-being? This is what people have come to expect. You can check out our range of innovative bean-to-cup machines or give our friendly team a call and we’ll help you find a solution that’s right for you.