Jan 3 2013
Fast fact: One in five people wrongly believe that coffee increases stress levels1
Research in the area of ‘anxiety, mood swings and adrenal exhaustion’ has found that “caffeine can increase anxiety when administered in single doses of 300 mg or higher, which is greater than the typical amount present in a single serving of a caffeine-containing beverage.”2,3,4
There is however, little evidence within these studies to show a correlation between moderate caffeine intake and anxiety. “In lower doses it appears to have little effect on this mood-state or, under certain circumstances, it may even reduce anxiety levels.”2,3,4 In addition, caffeine has not been shown to increase the anxiety induced by other stressors.2,3,4 Therefore for those wanting to decrease their stress levels, there is no need to cut out caffeine from your diet.
Dr Sarah Schenker, registered dietitian, explains “When consumed in moderation (up to 4-5 cups of coffee per day) there is no evidence to suggest that coffee/caffeine will add or lead to stress or anxiety. Whilst very high doses of caffeine may increase stress, the research in this area clearly shows that moderate coffee consumption is not associated with, and may even reduce increased stress and anxiety.”
For the majority of people, 400mg of caffeine per day is considered moderate consumption – this equates to around four to five cups of coffee. This will depend on the size and strength of the serving and it’s important to remember that caffeine can be found in other foodstuffs, such as tea, cola and chocolate. For pregnant women, the NHS recommends a safe upper limit of 200mg of caffeine per day from all sources – approximately two to three cups of coffee or equivalent.5
Dec 5 2012
05 December 2012: On Friday 30th November, the British Coffee Association (BCA) pledged £5,000 to Comic Relief 2013.
Current BCA Chairman Mr Austin Sugarman presented the BCA’s pledge note to Comic Relief host and frontman Lenny Henry during the BCA’s annual London Coffee Dinner.
The 62nd Annual London Coffee Dinner was held on Friday 30th November and was attended by coffee Trade and Industry personnel from the UK and across Europe, with over 500 people in attendance on the night.
A fantastic evening was had by all, with Lenny being the main act. After his performance, BCA Chairman, Mr Austin Sugarman, made the presentation of the pledge note to Lenny.
Current BCA Chairman Mr Austin Sugarman commented, “The BCA is delighted to be able to contribute to Comic Relief 2013. The Charity makes a huge difference to thousands of people and communities in real need. It was a pleasure having Lenny with us for the evening and being able to present our pledge was an honour.”
Lenny thanked the BCA for their support for a charity that he co-founded in 1985.
Aug 2 2012
11th July 2012
Drinking a cup of coffee about 20-30 minutes before you exercise can allow you to exercise for up to 30% longer1 – a great boost when you want to keep going during your run or swim.
Moderate coffee consumption (4-5 cups a day) can form part of a healthy lifestyle and provide that much needed energy boost during exercise.1 Evidence has shown that the caffeine contained in a cup of coffee can increase the amount of adrenaline produced by the body, which stimulates energy production and improves blood flow to the muscles and the heart.2 As a result, caffeine can lead to improvements in performance and is most notable in endurance sports such as swimming, cycling and tennis.3
Additionally caffeine has been shown to help maintain concentration and improve alertness in a variety of tasks; essential for staying focussed during exercise, and in turn achieve your exercise goals.4,5,6
“The role that coffee and caffeine can play in sport has turned 180 degrees from banned substance to performance aid of choice by many athletes, and with good reason,” highlights Dr Sarah Schenker. “Scientists have proven that a dose of caffeine, equivalent to that in a cup of coffee, does enhance performance by boosting endurance, increasing concentration and ability to focus and lowering perception of pain; all so important in those last agonizing moments of a race or competition.”
1. Ruxton, C.H.S. The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks, British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 33, 2008
2. Ganio M. S. et al. (2009), J. Effect of Caffeine on Sport-Specific Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review. Strength and Conditioning Research
3. Macintosh BR and Wright BM, Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. 1995;20:168-17
4. Hazenfratz M et al., Human Psychopharmacology. 1991; 6: 277-284,
5. Smith AP et al., Neuropsychobiology. 1993;27:217-223
6. Smith AP et al., Journal of Psychopharmacology. 1997;11(4):319-324
Apr 2 2012
Market research shows that 1 in 5 adults in the UK don’t drink coffee because they think it is addictive or causes stress.[i] However the weight of scientific evidence shows that coffee is not an addictive substance.
It’s true that many people drink coffee on a regular basis, and coffee drinking may well be a habit, this does not amount to addiction but is simply a part of everyday life. In fact, the World Health Organisation recognises that “there is no evidence whatsoever that caffeine use has even remotely comparable physical and social consequences which are associated with serious drug abuse”.
What about stress and anxiety? There is little evidence to show a correlation between moderate caffeine intake (of four to five cups per day) and anxiety.[ii],[iii],[iv] Research in this area has found that a single large dose of caffeine (300mg) can cause anxiety – but this amount of caffeine is many times higher than the amount contained in a single caffeine-containing drink and is unique to scientific research.[ii],[iii],[iv]
“We don’t need to worry about drinking a couple of cups of coffee causing stress or anxiety and we certainly don’t need to worry about becoming addicted to coffee. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence demonstrates that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups per day is perfectly safe,” – Dr Christian Jessen.
[i]ICM Market Research, conducted in May 2011. Data on file
[ii] Liebermann, H.R. Caffeine. In: Smith, A.P. and Jones, D.M. (Eds.), Handbook of Human Performance, vol. 2.Academic Press, London, pp. 49-72, 1992
[iii] Sicard, B.A. et al. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 67, 859-862, 1996
[iv] Green, P.J. and Suls, J. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19, 111-128, 1996
Nov 14 2011
National Coffee Day – 29th September 2011
Why should we be celebrating coffee on 29th September? For a start, coffee is one of the world’s most popular consumed commodities, with over 400 billion cups consumed each year. What’s more, coffee may confer a number of health benefits.
Coffee has been the subject of conflicting news stories over the years so let’s set the record straight!
There is an overwhelming weight of scientific information that demonstrates that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups per day is safe and may confer some health benefits. For pregnant women the NHS recommends consuming no more that 200mg of caffeine per day from all sources1.
Studies also show that coffee:
- may protect against heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.2,3,4,5
- may protect against liver, pancreatic and breast cancer.6,7,8
- is packed with anti-oxidants (more total antioxidant activity than tea or green tea) and is virtually fat free.9,10
You may be surprised to learn that a cup of coffee can also help you stay hydrated as moderate coffee consumption counts towards your daily fluid intake.11,12 In fact, the British Nutrition Foundation accepts coffee as an important source of fluid in the diet.13
“National Coffee Day is a good excuse to enjoy a cup of coffee. There are too many so called ‘well-meaning’ food and health messages that tell us to avoid all sorts of ordinary food and drink – usually for little or no reason – and such messages often put people off following a healthy diet by demonising so many enjoyable foods. Moderate consumption of up to 4-5 cups of coffee per day is not only considered safe, but may have a number of health benefits such as protecting against coronary heart disease and stroke. It’s also reassuring to know that a couple of cups of coffee can contribute to your fluid balance and help you stay hydrated and alert. So there really is no need to over-restrict yourself, enjoy” – Luci Daniels, Registered Dietitian.
For the majority of people, 400mg of caffeine per day is considered moderate consumption – this equates to around four to five cups of coffee. This will depend on the size and strength of the serving and it’s important to remember that caffeine can be found in other foodstuffs, such as tea, cola and chocolate. For pregnant women, the NHS recommends a safe upper limit of 200mg of caffeine per day from all sources – approximately two to three cups of coffee or equivalent.1
1. NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/pregnancycareplanner/pages/Healthinpregnancyhome.aspx
2. Lopez-Garcia E, Rodriguez-Artalejo F, et al. Coffee consumption and mortality in women with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.010249
3. Mukamal, K. et al. American Heart Journal, 495 – 501, 2009
4. Kastorini, C. M. et al. Journal of Medicinal Food, 12 (1), 29-36, 2009
5. Van Dam, R.M. and Feskens, E.J.M. Lancet, 360, 1477-1478, 2002
6. Woolcott et al. European Journal of Cancer Prevention; 11: 137-145, April 2002
7. Michels et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute; 97: 282-92, 2005
8. Li, J., et al. Coffee consumption modified risk of estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research. Breast Cancer Research 2011, 13:R49doi:10.1186/bcr2879
9. Liu, Y. & Kitts, D. International Journal of Food Research, Accepted Manuscript, 2011
10. Kang, N.J et al. Oxford Journal. Feb 2011
11. Kolasa, K. et al. Hydration and Health Promotion. Nutrition Today, 44:5, 2009
12. Ganio, M. S. et al. Evidence-based approach to lingering hydration questions. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 26: 1-16, 2007
13. British Nutrition Foundation, http://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/hydration/healthy-hydration-guide
Jun 11 2011
Nov 21 2009
Jun 9 2009
Nov 3 2008
Jul 25 2008