For a lot of us, a cup of coffee in the morning is a must-have. Maybe it perks you up, or gets you focused for a busy day. “I’m not me until I’ve had my coffee” is a popular saying in many offices. But just how true is this?

Addiction is a very strong word. People can be addicted to all sorts of vices – from drugs to alcohol to gambling. These are all taken very seriously. So is it right to joke about being addicted to coffee or caffeine?

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It’s true that while being “addicted” to caffeine is clearly not as serious as some other addictions, there are still some health ramifications that can arise from too much of the stuff. For example, experts say that if you consume on average five or more cups of coffee a day, you could suffer from insomnia, stomach aches and even an accelerated heart rate. But then of course, like any addiction, cutting it out cold turkey can lead to withdrawal symptoms, that can affect your physical and mental health.

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On the flip-side however, it’s been proven that coffee in moderation can benefit your well-being. The British Medical Journal recently published a research paper that said drinking coffee is more likely to benefit your health than it is to harm it. As well as waking you up and getting you through those early morning meetings, caffeine can improve reaction times, help your stamina and has even been linked to reducing the risk of cancer. Two to four cups a day is the recommended amount for a grown adult to reap the benefits of coffee.

So like most things, coffee and other caffeine products are best enjoyed in moderation.

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