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What’s the craze about caffeine?

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What’s the craze about caffeine?

Skim latte, large cap, double espresso, hot chocolate, piccolo …. most people have a ritual coffee order they need to kickstart their morning and get them ready for the day. There’s plenty of conflicting info about whether or not coffee is healthy and how much is too much. So we’ve broken it down for you.


Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, is a stimulant. This makes coffee a great option to give you that morning kick and get you going for the day. Some benefits of caffeine consumption are:

  • Improved energy levels.
  • Increased productivity, focus and attention
  • Improved sports and athletic performance
  • Antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress
  • Phytonutrients may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes


Having said that, there can be a number of adverse effects that people may experience with caffeine consumption:

  • Can cause increased heart rate, jitters, and anxiousness
  • Insomnia, particularly when consumed up to 6 hours before sleep
  • May irritate gastrointestinal tract
  • Can reduce calcium, magnesium and iron absorption
  • Can have a very high energy content when made on milk (e.g. latte, cappuccino), or with added sugars and syrups
  • May increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in large amounts

How much should I have?

Recent studies have shown that consumption of up to 400mg of caffeine - about 4 regular cups of coffee - has no adverse effects on your health. However, this can be a bit ambiguous, as there is a massive variation between people’s tolerance to coffee. Some people can’t function without three coffees, and others simply stick to decaf. It’s best to find out what the optimal amount is to make you the most productive without inducing any negative side effects. It’s also better to avoid drinking all your energy, as coffee is less likely to fill you up than other foods. If you are having a few coffees every day, try opting for a long black with a dash of milk, or a piccolo instead of higher energy options like cappuccinos and mochas, and avoid adding sugars or flavoured syrups.

What other foods and drinks contain caffeine?

While coffee is a well-known source of caffeine there are many other foods and drinks which also contain caffeine. Some of these include:

  • Tea contains 9-51mg per 250ml
  • Hot chocolate contains 5-10mg per 250ml
  • Cola drinks contain 58mg per 600ml
  • Diet cola drinks contain 77mg per 600ml
  • Energy drinks contain 80mg per 250ml
  • Dark chocolate contains 60mg per 50g
  • Milk chocolate contains 10mg per 50g
  • Guarana (a plant seed often used in energy drinks) contains up to 100mg per 1g

Is caffeine recommended for everyone?

For most healthy adults consuming up to 400mg of caffeine per day is considered safe, however for some adults this recommendation is lower. These groups include:

  • Women who are pregnant or trying for a baby, as well as those women who are breastfeeding. It is recommended that you speak to your doctor about caffeine consumption and aim for less than 200mg per day
  • People with IBS should avoid caffeine as it can increase diarrhoea and if consuming caffeine limit to 100-200mg per day
  • People who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should avoid drinking caffeine as it increases symptoms
  • There is also growing evidence that consuming large amounts of caffeine isn’t recommended for people with osteoporosis as it can decrease calcium absorption

If you are unsure what levels of caffeine are safe for you, always speak to your doctor first.

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz