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What coffee really does to your health, and how many cups you should be drinking a day



Raised cholesterol

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is typically considered the “bad” cholesterol that causes the build-up of fatty deposits within arteries. Cardiologist Dr. Bruemmer, from the Cleveland Clinic, said that: “There are certain types of coffee where the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels may be a little higher, like French press coffee, Turkish coffee and espresso.” 

But he was quick to add that the amount that we typically consume, there’s very little impact of coffee on cholesterol, provided that it is in moderation.

Does coffee dehydrate you?

Caffeinated drinks, including coffee, may promote mild diuresis – the increased production of urine, but they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration.

“Drinking caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle doesn’t cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested,” according to nutrition expert Katherine Zeratsky for the Mayo Clinic.

What are the health benefits of drinking coffee?

Reduced risk of death

It seems that drinking three cups of ground coffee a day, but not instant, could help people live longer, according to a 2022 study. 

Almost half a million Britons enrolled in the UK Biobank study were divided by their coffee intake: those who drank none, up to three cups, and more than three cups a day.

The study revealed that moderate coffee drinkers, up to three cups a day, including those drinking decaffeinated coffee, were 12 per cent less likely to die over the study’s 11-year period. 

They were also 17 and 21 per cent less likely to die of heart disease or stroke, respectively, according to the study from the Semmelweis University in Budapest and Queen Mary University of London. 

Over the study period, 3.4 per cent of moderate drinkers died, compared to 3.7 per cent of coffee abstainers and four per cent of those drinking higher amounts of caffeine. 

Among the coffee drinkers, a fifth preferred decaffeinated, a quarter drank ground beans and more than half opted for instant coffee. 

Brightens mood

Experts tend to agree that caffeine stimulates your body’s central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline – all of which can elevate your mood.

A 2021 consumer survey, which studied more than 5,000 adults across the UK, Italy, Finland, Germany and Poland, found that ingesting 75mg of caffeine every four hours improved seasonal affective disorder, and led to sustained mood improvement over the course of the day.

The study, funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, said that as the hours of daylight decreased, respondents experienced increased feelings of sadness, became more anxious, found it harder to concentrate, lost motivation to exercise and saw a dip in sports performance.

However, in the review of existing research into lifestyle measures that improve mood, the study found that of those surveyed, 20 per cent of adults said they felt that their mood improved after drinking coffee.

A further 29 per cent said they felt more energised, while 21 per cent said it helped them feel more alert and to concentrate better.



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