Having a latte could help boost your step count, according to scientists, who found people drinking coffee walked an extra 1,000 steps per day.
A randomised trial, involving 100 adult volunteers wearing continuously recording ECG devices, tracked caffeine intake, movement, sleep and health over two weeks.
There were both beneficial and harmful short-term health effects of coffee intake, according to the team from the University of California, San Francisco.
On days the volunteers drank coffee, they’d walk an extra 1,000 steps over days they didn’t have a coffee, the team said, with each extra cup increasing steps by 600.
However, drinking coffee appeared to reduce sleep duration by 36 minutes for the first cup, and by an extra 18 minutes for each additional cup.
The team didn’t say why this might be the case, but that the results ‘highlight the complex relationship between coffee and health.’
Having a latte could help boost your step count, according to scientists, who found people drinking coffee walked an extra 1,000 steps per day (stock image)
Consuming coffee was consistently associated with more physical activity as well as less sleep. Specifically:
- Participants who consumed coffee logged more than 1,000 additional steps per day compared to days when they did not drink coffee.
- On the days participants drank coffee, they had 36 fewer minutes of sleep per night according to their Fitbit devices.
- Drinking more than one coffee drink more than doubled the number of irregular heartbeats arising from the heart’s lower chambers.
- Each additional cup of coffee consumed was associated with nearly 600 more steps per day and 18 fewer minutes of sleep per night.
- There were no differences in continuously recorded glucose measured when the study participants consumed versus avoided coffee.
The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021, is the first randomised trial to investigate real-time coffee consumption consequences.
‘Coffee is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, yet its health effects remain uncertain,’ said study author Gregory Marcus.
‘While the majority of long-term observational studies have suggested multiple potential benefits of drinking coffee, this is the first randomised trial to investigate the real-time, physiologic consequences of coffee consumption.’
Dr Marcus and colleagues enrolled 100 adult volunteers into their study, and had them all wear a series of sensors and monitors.
This included continuously recording ECG devices, wrist-worn devices to track physical activity and sleep, and continuous glucose monitors to track blood sugar levels for two weeks.
Researchers also obtained DNA saliva samples from the participants to assess genetic variants that may affect caffeine metabolism.
They were then randomly assigned into a ‘coffee’ or ‘no coffee’ group, and had to follow that for two consecutive days in a two week period.
Coffee consumption was recorded in real time via a ‘time stamp button’ on the ECG monitor, and trips to coffee shops were tracked with geotracking on a device.
There were also daily questionnaires for the volunteers, outlining how much coffee they consumed every morning.
The team discovered that coffee drinking led to a 54 per cent increase in a type of abnormal heartbeat originating int he lower heart chambers.
However, they found that drinking more coffee was also associated with fewer episodes of supraventricular tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heart rhythm arising from the upper heart chambers.
Consuming coffee was consistently associated with more physical activity as well as less sleep, the team discovered.
Those in the coffee drinking group logged an additional 1,000 steps per day compared to days when they were in the no coffee group.
Each additional cup of coffee consumed was associated with nearly 600 more steps per day and 18 fewer minutes of sleep per night.
They also had 36 fewer minutes of sleep per night when they drank coffee, compared to days were they were forced to abstain.
A randomised trial, involving 100 adult volunteers wearing continuously recording ECG devices, tracked caffeine intake, movement, sleep and health over two weeks. Stock image
It takes more than a WEEK to recover from 10 days of poor quality slumber, study warns
It can take more than a week to recover from memory and reaction speeds issues that develop after 10 days of poor quality sleep, according to a new study.
To discover whether it is possible to recover from sleep deprivation, and if so how long it takes, a team from Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland recruited 13 volunteers to suffer through ten nights of broken, poor quality sleep.
During those ten nights, and a subsequent week of quality, uninterrupted slumber, the volunteers answered questions, wore wrist sensors and had daily EEG tests.
After the week of good sleep, the volunteers reaction speeds had returned to normal, but memory and other pre-sleep deprivation functions were still slower.
Jeremi Ochab, lead author, said previous studies had explored the impact of sleep deprivation, but this was the first to show it takes more than a week of solid sleep for reaction times and memory recall to return to normal levels.
There were no differences in continuously recorded glucose measured when the study participants consumed versus avoided coffee.
‘More physical activity, which appears to be prompted by coffee consumption, has numerous health benefits, such as reduced risks of Type 2 diabetes and several cancers, and is associated with greater longevity,’ Dr Marcus said.
‘On the other hand, reduced sleep is associated with a variety of adverse psychiatric, neurologic and cardiovascular outcomes.
‘More frequent abnormal heartbeats from the upper heart chambers influence risk of atrial fibrillation, and more frequent abnormal beats from the lower chambers, or ventricles, increase the risk of heart failure.
‘These results highlight the complex relationship between coffee and health.’
Those with genetic variants linked to faster caffeine metabolism showed more abnormal heart beats in the ventricles when more coffee was consumed.
The slower an individual metabolised caffeine based on their genetics, the more sleep they lost when they drank caffeinated coffee.
They also found no link between changes in exercise or sleep on coffee’s effects on abnormal heart rhythms.
Dr Marcus noted that because coffee was randomly assigned to the study participants, cause-and-effect can be inferred.
These observations were made during repeated assessments of days when coffee was consumed versus when it was not for each study participant, eliminating concerns regarding differences in individual-level characteristics.
The study has been presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021.
BENEFITS OF DRINKING COFFEE
Caffeine has been deemed safe for consumption in doses of up to 400 mg per day for the general population.
Studies suggest it can have a variety of health benefits, including combating liver disease and type two diabetes.
Research has even suggested it could even help people live longer.
It is the world’s most widely consumed stimulant and reports show it can boost daily energy expenditure by around five per cent.
Researchers have said combining two to four daily coffees with regular exercise would be even more effective at keeping the weight off.
A 2015 study showed just a couple of cups a day could help millions of dieters stay trim once they have achieved their desired weight.