Many of us would struggle to get the day underway without a coffee in hand.
This is perhaps one of the benefits of caffeine that we are most familiar with; as a stimulant, it can help with alertness and focus.
When consumed in moderation, evidence also appears to suggest that caffeine may help with:
- weight loss by suppressing appetite and enhancing metabolism;
- endurance in physical activities;
- reducing the risk of Alzeheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases;
- lowering the chance of developing kidney stones;
- protecting against heart disease;
- reducing the risk of some cancers such as prostate or skin cancers;
- lowering the risk of stroke.
However as with many things in life, caffeine is best enjoyed in moderation – whether that be a frothy cappuccino, energy drink, or dark chocolate. Too much and you will likely notice problems with insomnia, headaches, heartburn, anxiety, and for women of a certain age, menopause symptoms. Thankfully, there are some excellent decaffeinated coffees now available.
What does Moderation Mean?
While we know that it’s best to consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day, it’s not so easy to understand how much is in your favourite cuppa. The amount of caffeine in your coffee for example depends on many factors, including:
- the type of coffee bean – some have more caffeine than others;
- the roast – lighter roasts are not lighter when it comes to caffeine;
- cup size – from piccolo to mug, there can be huge variations;
- the type of coffee – brewed or espresso is going to be stronger than a cup of instant.
In Australian culture, we love our coffee! We’ve turned it into an integral part of our social rituals. So it’s good to know that there are actually some benefits to be had from one of our favourite beverages.