Half of us need a coffee kick-start

If you feel you can’t get through the morning without a coffee to kick-start things – don’t worry, a new survey suggest you are not alone.

A survey of 1902 Kiwis reveals 44 per cent need a coffee to get them going in the morning.

Also, according to the Canstar Blue survey on our coffee-buying habits, more women than men suffer caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and dizziness. And this may explain why nearly one in four females have tried to cut down coffee intake during the last 12 months.

Canstar Blue spokesperson Emma Quantrill says coffee has been New Zealand’s most popular hot drink since the 1980s so it’s no wonder so many of us have come to depend on it for a kick-start in the morning.

“There’s a lot more caffeine in coffee than tea and it’s this element that gives our brains the shove we sometimes need in the morning.

“The flip side, as many of us know, is we’ve got to be careful with our afternoon double shots or after dinner coffee as it can give an energy boost that stops us getting a restful sleep.”

So how much is too much? In New Zealand there is no official recommended daily intake for caffeine but it’s generally accepted that too much can lead to side effects such as muscle tremors, headaches and heightened anxiety.

Rule of thumb suggests three to four standard coffees per day are okay for a healthy adult.

Emma says for those who like to make themselves coffee first thing in the morning, we often have a larger than average cup or give ourselves a refill, which is obviously far more than what you expect in an average cup.

“The good news for lovers of instant coffee is it can have up to 50 per cent less caffeine then filtered coffee.

“But contrary to popular belief, in fresh coffee it tends to be the lightly roasted rather than darker roasted varieties of coffee beans that contain the highest amounts of caffeine so you also need to bear that in mind.”