coffee cup and coffee beans

Benefits of coffee

Whether you’re partial to a latte or prefer a classic espresso, coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. In fact, it’s thought that over two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day, and 59 million are drunk each day in the UK alone.1

From instant coffee and pods to bean-to-cup and filter coffee, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy your favourite brew. But are there any health benefits to drinking coffee? And what are the potential risks of drinking too much? We’ve got everything you need to know below.

Why is coffee so popular?

Like we mentioned above, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It’s the first thing many of us reach for in the morning, and we often enjoy meeting friends for a cup and a chat. But why is it so popular? There could be a range of different reasons.

These could include:

  • Caffeine content2
  • Flavour3
  • Experience4
  • Socialising5

Regardless of why coffee remains so popular, there’s no doubt that this aromatic brew is a staple in most of our kitchen cupboards.

Benefits of coffee

While we might enjoy a cup of coffee for its flavour, there are some reported health benefits to drinking a cup every now and then. Some of these might include:

  • Improved energy levels6
  • Reduced fatigue7
  • Boosted metabolism8
  • Improved fat burning9
  • Improved physical performance10
  • Improved mood11
  • Anti-oxidant effects12
Of course, it’s essential to maintain a healthy and balanced diet as well.13 Studies into the benefits of coffee are limited in scope, meaning you should take their results with a pinch of salt.

If you have any specific health concerns, it’s always worth visiting your doctor to discuss your symptoms.

Potential risks of coffee

Like with anything, it’s essential to enjoy coffee in moderation. While it’s generally thought to be safe for most people, there are some risks to be aware of.14

Some other unwanted coffee side effects could include:

  • Disturbed sleep15
  • Increased blood pressure16
  • Addictive effects17
  • Withdrawal symptoms (when caffeine intake is reduced)18
Drinking coffee can increase the risk of complications for pregnant women, so you must avoid drinking too much coffee if you’re pregnant.19 Children and adolescents should also avoid drinking too much coffee, especially for much younger children. This is thought to apply to all caffeinated products.20

Recommended intake

Drinking a cup or two of coffee a day is safe for most people, although some studies suggest that up to four cups a day is an acceptable amount too.

However, it’s worth considering that other drinks include caffeine (like tea, energy drinks, and soft drinks). Suppose you regularly consume other sources of caffeine. In that case, it could be worth monitoring how many cups of coffee you’re drinking too.21

If you’re concerned about your caffeine intake, there are plenty of caffeine-free coffee substitutes out there. From simple decaf to options like chicory root, you’ll find plenty of alternatives on the supermarket shelves.

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Last updated: 11 February 2021

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CoffeeDrinksFood & Drink
Donia Hilal

Donia Hilal,
Nutritionist

Joined Holland & Barrett: Jan 2018

Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition

Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018.

Donia has over 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.