Let’s talk about caffeine

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

While you probably think about this stimulant mostly in terms of that morning coffee that gives you a shot of energy, know that it can be found in an abundance of foods and drinks (and meds!) – including some you might not suspect. So, how much? Check out the image above to see!

What might caffeine mean for you? Well, that’s going to depend. While most people can consume up to 400 milligrams a day without side effects, or up to 200mg in pregnancy, others are more sensitive.

How its effects play out in your body are related to your genes (specifically the CYP1A2 gene) which dictates how fast you metabolise it – for those who are sensitive (slow metabolisers), impacts can include nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia, as caffeine can cause a spike in the stress hormone, cortisol – as well as gut symptoms (ever had to dash to the loo after a strong flat white?)

Saying that, thanks to the polyphenols in coffee – NOT the caffeine – there are potential benefits to your morning coffee. Studies have shown that one or two cups a day might lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease and certain cancers. Coffee may even have a prebiotic effect, making it beneficial for your microbes.

How does caffeine impact you? Ever tweaked how much you consume because you noticed side effects? Let me know in the comments.

Pic: craddling my morning cup (with Archie kicking away inside) of the frothiest cashew latte using whole cashews- ready in just 5 minutes! Has anyone else tried this one yet from Eat More, Live Well (pg. 300)?


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