Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, painkillers and now even some cosmetics.  Given most of us are partial to a daily hot tipple, let’s look at its effects. It will depend on our personal tolerance level, but first thing in the morning a dose of caffeine provides for some a welcome jolt of energy.  We become more alert, responsive, more physically prepared for the day ahead. It puts a spring in our step! On the flipside, for others, just a few sips can bring on feelings of anxiety, insomnia, even migraines.

So assuming you are able to enjoy daily caffeine, ….   what is too much?  The general thinking is that for a 65kg person, 400mg of caffeine per day (about 4-5 cups) (200mg and 2 cups if pregnant) is acceptable, possibly even beneficial.  According to a 13 year long research study carried out in the Netherlands, caffeine can actually reduce our risk of heart disease by as much as 20%. Obviously it is a balanced lifestyle which contributes to heart health. Sitting still all day long, munching biscuits and having a fag or two to accompany those cups of coffee or tea isn’t going to do us any favours and will cancel out any benefits from the caffeine.  Shame…nothing like a digestive dunked in coffee.

To help pin down your own tolerance levels, here are some stats:  1 mug of filter coffee contains around 140mg caffeine, 1 mug instant coffee 100mg caffeine and a mug of tea around 75g caffeine.

Worthy and dull though it sounds, adding a pint-of-water chaser to your coffee does help our skin and hydration levels. A client of mine once confessed to 15 cups of tea a day and her skin showed every one of them. Three weeks later after cutting down to three and replacing the rest with water, she looked twenty years younger!


(Text written by Annie Deadman originally for Woman magazine, 23 March 2021)

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