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Caffeine alert: How many cups of coffee should you drink daily?

"The healthiest way to take your coffee is hot-brewed and black. One cup has virtually no calories or carbs, no fat, and is low in sodium," said Sakina Diwan, a dietician

coffeeShould you be having more than one cup of coffee? (Source: Pexels)

Many of  us love to kickstart our day with a cup of coffee. While there is enough research on how coffee can help boost brain function, there is still not much understanding on what type and how much coffee should one consume on a daily basis. Addressing some of these concerns, Uma Naidoo, a nutritional psychiatrist and director of nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that one should have three cups of coffee.

According to Naidoo, a study which tracked coffee consumption and cognitive health of 676 elderly men over 10 years noted that coffee drinkers had less than half the cognitive decline as compared to non-coffee drinkers, and those who had three cups a day had the least decline. A Harvard study also examined the likelihood of death in more than two lakh participants over more than 20 years, and suggested that coffee drinkers were less likely to die, with those who had 3.1 to five cups of coffee a day living longer.

How does coffee impact brain function and overall health?

In a post on Instagram, Naidoo listed the following points:

*Caffeine increases serotonin and acetylcholine, which may stimulate the brain and help stabilise the blood-brain barrier.

*The polyphenol micronutrients in coffee may prevent tissue damage by free radicals, as well as brain-blood vessel blockage.

*High concentrations of trigonelline are found in coffee beans, which may also activate antioxidants, thereby protecting brain blood vessels.

So, how much should one have?

Since caffeine may not work for everyone and excess consumption may lead to digestive issues, Naidoo recommends to ‘tune into your innate body intelligence’. “This means (know) how foods and beverages make you feel, and then act accordingly. If coffee doesn’t make you feel good after drinking, it’s probably not good for you,” she said in the post.

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Sakina Diwan, dietician, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai is of the opinion that in moderation, coffee seems to be good for most people — that’s 3 to 5 cups daily, or up to 400 milligrams of caffeine. “The healthiest way to take your coffee is hot-brewed and black. One cup has virtually no calories or carbs, no fat, and is low in sodium. Black coffee also has micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and niacin,” said Diwan.

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First published on: 23-02-2022 at 10:00:04 am
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