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5 Reasons to Cut Back on Caffeine

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One in seven people are cutting back on caffeine in 2015.


Nutritionist Helen Money comments, “While caffeine has a number of health benefits for adults with links to reduced cardiovascular disease[i], and reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s[ii], too much caffeine could raise your blood pressure, impact your mood, cause bladder problems and potentially make you more tired. It’s interesting that cutting back on caffeine is the next health trend (after cutting sugar, calories and salt) – and that more people are considering substituting some of those extra cups of coffee and tea with caffeine free alternatives, like Barleycup.”


caffeine infographic 2015


Here are Helen’s top 5 reasons why cutting back on caffeine could be good for you.


“Sleep Better! A good night’s rest will help you feel better the next day. But for many people drinking a caffeinated drink in the few hours before you go to bed will keep you awake. If this is you, try a caffeine free alternative like Barleycup or herbal tea in the afternoon. Caffeine inhibits the activity of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, one of your brain’s natural tranquilizers, and as such reduces your ability to fall asleep.”


“Beat dehydration. Coffee and tea are both diuretic – which can lead to dehydration as these increase the amount you urinate and you can lose too much body fluid.

Caffeine usually doesn’t trigger dehydration until after you’ve had about 500 mg, so you should be safe if you stick to a cup or two of coffee a day – but try replacing those extra cups with a caffeine-free alternative such as Barleycup or herbal tea, to keep hydrated.”


Stop your heart rate and blood pressure rising: Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and causes you to release more adrenaline, it increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Having a rapid heart rate can be dangerous, especially for those who have a heart condition or suffer from irregular heart rhythms. NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines recommend that people who suffer from hypertension should reduce consumption of caffeinated drinks and products.”


Love your bladder: Not only is caffeine is a diuretic, which can lead to an increased frequency of urination, excess consumption of caffeine has been linked to exacerbation of stress incontinence or ‘leaky bladder’ – in both men and women .[iii]


Lift your mood and reduce anxiety: You know you’re addicted to caffeine when friends and family call you ‘grumpy’ before your first sip of coffee or you find yourself being short tempered when you skip your afternoon coffee fix. While studies have found that some caffeine can improve physical and mental performance, too much caffeine can negatively impact your mood and energy as caffeine causes increased stimulation in the brain and nervous system. For some people too much caffeine can exacerbate stress and depression because it interferes with the tranquilizing neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called adenosine, and because it acts as a stimulant triggering more stress hormones like adrenaline increasing your heart rate, these factors together can make you feel more anxious. Remember if you are going to cut down on caffeine – do so gradually as if you stop drinking coffee abruptly, you may experience irritability, fatigue and headaches.”


How much is too much

The recommended daily allowance for caffeine in healthy individuals is around 400mg caffeine equivalent to around four or five cups of coffee. NHS guidelines recommend that pregnant women limit the amount of caffeine to 200mg – equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee.


Nutritionist Helen Money adds “While some caffeine in moderation has proven health benefits, the best thing is to drink coffee while paying attention to your own body and watch for those hidden sources of caffeine when you may need to cut your coffee intake. Different people have different tolerances. Some people react strongly to caffeine, some don’t. It’s a question of knowing your own limit and knowing your own body.


“If you enjoy a cappuccino in the morning and a coffee after lunch, then that’s fine, but if you start to get palpitations, you’re running to the toilet or noticing an increase in nervousness and sleeplessness, you could consider cutting back your caffeine intake and try replacing one of your coffees with a caffeine free alternative like a glass of water, herbal tea or a cup of Barleycup.”


Watch out too for hidden sources of caffeine: chocolate, certain medicines – particularly over the counter cold and flu remedies and certain headache tablets, energy drinks, and supplements.


Barleycup is made from roasted barley, rye and chicory and contains no artificial additives. Enjoy as part of a healthy balanced diet along with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also the natural choice for those who love tea and coffee but who are trying to cut down on their caffeine, as Barleycup is entirely caffeine-free.


Barleycup contains no added sugar and at only 10kcals a cup it is guilt free pleasure the whole family can enjoy. Made in moments by simply adding hot water, Barleycup is equally tasty on its own or with milk or dairy free alternatives – the choice is yours.


Including cereals like barley and rye as part of a healthy balanced diet isn’t something new though. They are amongst the world’s oldest cultivated grains and have been enjoyed for centuries because of their flavour and nutritional profile.


There are four great tasting variations of Barleycup to choose from – all of which are gluten-free and certified by Coeliac UK: Barleycup Powder; Barleycup Granules; Barleycup Organic and Barleycup with Dandelion.


For more information on Barleycup as well as recipes visit:


How much caffeine am I drinking? (Source NHS Choices 2015)

  • one mug of instant coffee: 100mg
  • one mug of filter coffee: 140mg  – note some high street filter coffees can contain up over 300mg in one large drink
  • one mug of tea: 75mg
  • one can of cola: 40mg
  • one can of energy drink: up to 80mg
  • one 50g bar of plain chocolate: up to 50mg
  • one 50g bar of milk chocolate: up to 25mg


For more information, recipes or images please contact the Barleycup press office:

Judy Claughton/ Nancy Clarke / David Gough /


T: 01189 475 956



Editors’ notes.


Barleycup research was conducted by Ominbus and polled 1.937 adults in January 2015 for their views on healthy eating and diet trends


* Barleycup Cup with Dandelion also contains dandelion root and sugar beet

** The EU regulation on food safety defines the permissible gluten level for a product to be labelled ‘gluten-free’ to be 20mg/kg or less.


Barleycup is made using a unique process that includes extracting a liquid that is free from gluten. This liquid is then dried and used either as a powder or granules. The gluten is retained in post extraction waste – and the products are regularly tested by an accredited laboratory to ensure that the gluten levels do not exceed 10mg/kg. (The EU regulation on food safety defines the permissible gluten level for a product to be labelled ‘gluten-free’ to be 20mg/kg or less.)


Barleycup Powder and Barleycup Granules are available in 200g jars from Holland & Barrett. All Barleycup drinks – including Barleycup with Dandelion are available at independent health food stores nationwide and online including:

  • com
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Average retail price October 2014, for Barleycup powder 100g £2.00

[i] Harvard School of Public Health; Study on Coffee:


[ii] High Blood Caffeine Levels in MCI Linked to Lack of Progression to Dementia;”  Chuanhai Cao, David A. Lowenstein, Xiaoyang Lin, Chi Zang, Li Wang, Ranjan Duara, Yougui Wu, Alessandra Giannini, Ge Bai, Jianfeng Cai, Maria Greig, Elizabeth Schofield, Raj Ashok, Brent Small, Huntington Potter and Gary W. Arendash;  Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 29 (2012) 1-14,  DOI 10.3233/JAD-2012-111781. 2012 University of Florida and University of Miami


[iii] Jura Y, Townsend M, Curhan G, et al. Caffeine intake and risk of stress, urgency and mixed urinary incontinence. The Journal of Urology 2011: 185 (4) supplement e405 and Caffeine Intake and its association with urinary incontinence in US men: Results from National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2005-06 and 2007-08″; Nicole J. Davis, Camille P. Vaughan, Theodore M. Johnson II, Patricia S. Goode, Kathryn L. Burgio, David T. Redden, Alayne D. Markland; The Journal of Urology, published online 2 January 2013;

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