Just four coffees a day – that's your limit!

28 May 2015 by
Just four coffees a day – that's your limit!

People should drink no more than four cups of coffee a day, according to a scientific study carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for the European Commission.

The report warns that consuming more than the caffeine equivalent of four espressos a day is harmful to health.

According to the report, the optimum amount of coffee an individual should consume per day equates to 400mg, which "is generous, as the average daily intake among European adults aged 18-65 ranges between 37mg-319mg," the report said.

In its first guidelines on caffeine consumption, the EU's food safety watchdog EFSA used its Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database to calculate caffeine intake. It contains data from 39 surveys in 22 different European countries for a total of 66,531 participants.

The risk of consuming too much coffee was found to be particularly high for pregnant women - who should have a maximum of two cups a day - and young people.

The EFSA have warned those who break the limits run the risk of a host of health problems, from anxiety and sleeplessness to heart rhythm disturbances and heart failure.

The report also contains warnings relating other food and drink products that contain caffeine, and says that many people may unintentionally be going over the safe limit. The average cup of tea contains 50mg and small bar of plain dark chocolate has up to 50mg of caffeine. Cola is perceived as being high in caffeine, yet has 30mg per can, and caffeine is also often added to painkiller pills.

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