Caffeine is harmless
It’s blamed for sleeplessness, anxiety, frequent toilet trips and worse – but caffeine is harmless, a new study shows.
A review of 44 trials dispelled the widespread myth that caffeine, found in tea, coffee and fizzy drinks, is bad for the body.
It found that sticking to the recommended daily amount of 400mg – the equivalent four cups of coffee or eight cups of tea – has no lasting damage on the body.
Dr Ruxton, who sits on the Tea Advisory Panel, told MailOnline: “Unfortunately, there is an enormous amount of myth and misinformation surrounding caffeine.
“The reality is that people who cut out tea and coffee may miss out on the potential health benefits of the compounds they contain.
It displayed at least 15 different trials that documented the benefits caffeine has on the brain, including improving reaction times, accuracy in tests and alertness.
Another 29 randomised controlled trials that were assessed confirmed caffeine enhances sports performance.
As such, figures estimate that three out of four elite athletes use caffeine supplements to boost their performance.
The EU’s food safety watchdog advised a daily limit of 400mg for adults in its first guidelines on caffeine intake in 2015.
European Food Safety Agency officials suggested pregnant women should keep intakes below 200mg.
It also advised children to consume no more than 3mg of caffeine per KG of body weight – the equivalent of two mugs of milky tea for a child of four.
Health officials warned those who break the limits run the risk of a host of health problems, from anxiety to heart failure.
Its warning also showed links between high caffeine intake in pregnancy and having a baby that is underweight.
The NHS says too much caffeine can cause a miscarriage. There are also links to birth defects.
However, with coffee far from the only food or drink to contain caffeine, people may unintentionally be going over the safe limit.