Brits are currently estimated to drink a whopping 2.1 billion coffees and 874 million cups of tea each year – and that’s just when we’re out and about. Recent research carried out by retail industry analysts NPD Group, says that one of the main factors contributing to our thirst for caffeine is the continuing expansion of high street chain coffee shops. Here, Anna-Marie Casas reveals why caffeine available at every turn could be a good thing when it comes to our health…
1 Caffeine for life longevity
The latest study by Stanford University of Medical Science in California has shown that caffeine could prevent age-related inflammation in blood vessels, lowering the risk of heart disease. Mark Davis, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, says: “Our findings show that an underlying inflammatory process, which is associated with ageing, is not only driving cardiovascular disease but is, in turn, driven by molecular events that we may be able to target and combat. That something many people drink – and actually like to drink – might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us. What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity.”
2 Caffeine for a better memory
Caffeine is well known to increase alertness and help keep minds focused, but researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US have discovered that caffeine could improve memory at least up to 24 hours after it was consumed. The study, which involved showing participants a series of pictures of objects over two days, found that memory performance was improved among those given caffeine compared with those who were caffeine-free. Memory was enhanced after a 200mg dose (2-3 coffees), compared with 100mg, but there was no further improvement after 300mg.
3 Caffeine for physical performance
Want to achieve that personal best? Then hit the gym after a caffeine boost. An optimum dose of 100-200mg has been shown to significantly improve exercise performance, focus and fat burning. Rob Suchet, owner and head coach at HEALTH, says: “Caffeine peaks at 60-90 minutes after ingestion, so it should be taken at least one hour before training. A single shot of espresso contains about 70mg, black tea 50mg, green tea 30mg and caffeine capsules typically contain 100 to 200mg. So a double espresso or 1-2 capsules an hour or two before training should produce the desired effect.
To discover more about the health benefits of caffeine, pick up Issue 3 of Healthy Diet out now!