As Susanna Reid admits to sipping nine cups of coffee a day, how much is safe to drink?

·6-min read

Watch: Susanna Reid reveals she has nine cups of coffee in the morning

Susanna Reid has revealed she drinks up to nine cups of coffee before presenting Good Morning Britain.

The 52-year-old presenter sets her alarm at 3:45am in order to get up for work and admits she needs the hefty caffeine dose to keep her going.

Appearing on Lorraine to discuss her sleep habits, Reid also shared how much coffee she downs before hosting GMB.

"When you get up that early you drink a lot of coffee," host Lorraine Kelly posed. "How many cups of coffee would you be drinking?"

"Well I thought it was eight," Reid admitted.

"But this morning Harry, in the green room, and Mark who was doing my coffee, he told me it was nine," she added, to the astonishment of Kelly.

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Stock picture of Susanna Reid who has revealed she drinks nine cups of coffee in the morning. (Getty Images)
Susanna Reid has revealed she drinks up to nine coffees in the morning to combat her early starts. (Getty Images)

The breakfast TV host went on to clarify that she doesn’t drink a full mug and it’s more like "a couple of sips," but the green room staff just "keep them coming".

The news broadcaster added that she refuses to have caffeine after midday, as if she does there will be no chance of her getting to sleep later that evening.

She added that she has been getting up to a 3.45am alarm "for 20 years, on and off," so has her sleeping schedule down to an art.

Potential health benefits of coffee

While the amount of coffee Reid admits might surprise the most hardened of coffee-drinkers, there are in fact some benefits to chugging the brown stuff with recent research published in the science journal Circulation indicating that drinking as many as five cups of coffee per day could be beneficial to your health.

The study examined the habits of a large population, over 200,000, over a long period of time and found that drinking one to five cups of coffee per day was associated with fewer incidences of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases and suicide, and that coffee consumption had no impact on the number of deaths from cancer.

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Another study linked other potential health benefits. The research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, found that people who drink coffee daily have a lower risk of developing and dying from liver disease.

The study analysed data from more than 495,000 people in the UK over a median of 10 years. They tracked which people developed chronic liver disease and related liver conditions.

Compared to non-coffee drinkers, people who drink coffee had a 21% reduced risk of chronic liver disease and a 20% reduced risk of chronic or fatty liver disease. They were also much less likely to die from chronic liver disease if they did contract it.

Stock picture of Susanna Reid, she recently revealed she drinks nine cups of coffee. (Getty Images)
Susanna Reid says the coffee helps keep her going after her 3.45am starts. (Getty Images)

A further survey by ISIC and European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD), found the majority of European dieticians believe moderate coffee consumption has clear health benefits, including improved alertness, sports performance and mood.

But how much coffee is safe to drink?

While there are plenty of perceived benefits of coffee, experts are also keen to stress it isn't a a magic bullet and should be enjoyed in moderation. So how much is too much?

Before you start knocking back six cups of coffee a day, it's worth noting that there can be some health concerns associated with high levels of caffeine consumption.

According to the European Food Safety Authority’s review of caffeine safety, a safe coffee intake can be defined as three to five cups per day, up to 400mg per day, while the NHS says more than 600mg/day can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation, palpitations, diarrhoea and restlessness.

It's also worth considering the size of the cup of coffee you're drinking. Susanna Reid says that from her nine cups of coffee, she only drinks a few sips, but if you're chugging a grande flat white, that could be considerably more caffeine.

The type of coffee you're drinking could also be a factor. According to Coffee Code UK, there are a number of things that affect how much caffeine there is in a cup of coffee, including the type of coffee used, brewing method and roast level, but as a guide they anticipate there to be anywhere between 63mg to 100mg in a single cup, more in a bigger cup.

Remember also that caffeine isn't just found in coffee, but tea, fizzy drinks, chocolate and certain energy drinks, so remember to monitor your total intake.

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Drinking coffee, in moderation, could provide many health benefits. (Getty Images)
Drinking coffee, in moderation, could provide many health benefits. (Getty Images)

And if you feel jittery after just one cup the good news is you can also reap the benefits of coffee drinking even if yours is caffeine-free – interestingly, scientists note the same benefits with both caffeinated and decaffeinated kinds.

Scientists believe the positive effects come from compounds unrelated to coffee’s caffeine content, so it is possible to glean some health benefits without going too over-caffeinated.

Dr JW Langer, expert at the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), also recommends cutting down on added sugars in your coffees and only using skimmed milk, if any at all, due to the calorie intake, which could inhibit any perceived plus points.

But it's still important to bear in mind the limitations of some of the research into coffee's potential health benefits.

"Like most other nutritional studies, the coffee studies are so called 'observational', meaning that a large group of people are followed for several years," Dr Langer previously told Yahoo UK.

"Implied in the observational study design of the research, the data cannot fully exclude that other lifestyle factors beside drinking coffee may contribute to the observed health benefits.

"Perhaps a healthier diet or a more consistent exercise routine play a role. Conclusions from these studies can never be definitive."

Nevertheless, many experts, including Dr Langer, remain convinced that, from a scientific viewpoint, low to moderate coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk of and sometimes lower mortality of a large number of health conditions.

"In my opinion as a physician, an important and reassuring finding from the studies [about the health benefits of coffee] is that a regular moderate intake of coffee does not seem to be harmful for most people," Dr Langer explains.

"You can enjoy coffee as part of a healthy diet without too much concern."