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Fitness & Health

04th Jul 2018

Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day cuts your risk of cancer, studies show

A hot cup of Joe is arguably the nation's favourite drink - and with good reason

Alex Roberts

Coffee is arguably the nation’s favourite drink – and with good reason, science shows

A hot cup of coffee is up there with snoozing past your alarm and moaning about traffic as the things most synonymous with a typical British morning.

Not all common habits are good for your health, but it turns out that a taste for an espresso or two provides many benefits.

For years, caffeine has been used in the sport and fitness world to great effect.

It reduces your rate of perceived exertion, for starters. This is just a posh way of saying ‘it makes difficult exercise seem easier’. That corresponds to an enhanced work capacity, sessions of a longer duration and more weight on the bar.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the power of coffee and caffeine, however.

Research found a daily average of between 280-350 milligrams of caffeine was associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and neurological issues.

An average black coffee in most chain stores is around 70 milligrams of caffeine, which roughly equates to a maximum of five per day.

Is this reason to gulp down on coffee all day long? Not quite. Consume caffeine too late in the day and you could potentially interrupt sleep. Don’t head for the coffee pot after 5pm.

For people with existing medical conditions such as anxiety and palpitations, caution and advice from the doc should also be sought.

Your body also finds it quite easy to grow accustomed to the effects of caffeine. Ever tried a pre-workout for the first time and felt like you’re The Hulk? Chances are, after a week or two, you’ll feel like you need to double scoop it. This is due to your body building up a tolerance to the effects of high caffeine doses.

If this happens, aim to spread your coffees out over a few hours, or take a day or two off caffeine.

Either way, there’s no reason to completely cut out coffee. The studies show a few cups a day has your back, health-wise.