I’m a doctor – here’s when you should never drink coffee

Sleep expert explains how to achieve a healthy lifestyle

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the UK, with up to 100 million cups consumed daily.

While coffee is thought to have many health benefits, such as helping to prevent type 2 diabetes and boosting weight loss efforts, it could also come with some risks, an expert has warned.

In a TikTok video, Doctor Poonam Desai, who goes by @‌doctoranddancer online, urged people not to drink coffee after a certain point in the day.

Speaking to her more than 22,000 followers, Dr Desai explained why she never drinks coffee, or consumes caffeine, after 12pm.

“Caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours and could still be lingering in your system close to bedtime, preventing us from falling asleep or staying asleep,” she said.

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“So I really try to avoid any caffeinated beverages in the afternoon.”

Sleep deficiency has been linked to a number of chronic health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression.

According to the NHS, around one in three adults in the UK will experience difficulty sleeping at least once in their lives.

Her advice is backed by research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in 2015, which found that drinking the equivalent of a double espresso three hours before bed can turn your body clock back almost an hour effectively giving you jet lag.

Dr Desai’s warning was part of a longer list of lifestyle habits to avoid or change for your health.

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As reported in The Mirror, she said: “I’m a doctor and these are the five things I do not do, or no longer do, for my health.

“The first is drink alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe for our health.”

Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with the development of chronic diseases and other health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

It has also been linked to cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.

Dr Desai then went on to warn against the use of plastic containers for food.

“Plastic Tupperware, especially when heated, can leach endocrine disruptors, so I no longer buy them,” she said.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Services describes endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), as chemicals that may mimic, block, or interfere with the body’s hormones, which are part of the endocrine system.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that these chemicals have been linked to a variety of health issues, including interference with reproduction, increased cancer risk and disturbances in the immune and nervous system function.

Furthering Dr Desai’s concerns about sleep disruption caused by caffeine, she recommended against routinely taking red eye flights, which are flights that depart late at night and arrive early in the morning.

She said: “A red eye flight can significantly disrupt your sleep for a night, so I avoid taking them if possible.”

Dr Desai also urged people to never go a day without five different plant foods.

She added: “These can include fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.”

The five a day campaign was launched in the UK in 2003 following advice from the World Health Organisation to consume a minimum of 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily.

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