Too Much of a Good Thing

Overdosing on the good stuff can have hidden dangers. Know your limits to avoid getting hit by friendly fire.

5-star coffee

RDA: 400mg – the average cup is around 80mg

Perfect dose: Five cups a day stimulates your immune system and aids concentration. It’ll rocket your loyalty points at Coffee Bean too.

Overdose: Heavy use — more than 500mg a day — can cause insomnia, anxiety and muscle tremors according to US research . Pull back your daily dose with Arabica beans, for less caffeine without sacrificing flavour.


Total sleep

RDA: 6.5-7.5 hours

Perfect dose: Seven hours enables your body to produce growth hormones, repairing muscle and refreshing your brain function.

Overdose: A recent study in the journal Sleep, found men who logged nine or more hours a night were 43% more likely to have heart disease than seven-hour sleepers, since hypersomnia (oversleeping) can stall your metabolism.


Protein boost

RDA: 0.75kg per kg of body weight

Perfect dose: Eat around 5g with every meal to build muscle and regulate your metabolism.

Overdose: Just twice your RDA can overstrain your renal system and cause kidney stones. Keep protein to 15-20% of your daily diet and flush your kidneys with water regularly.


Water level

RDA: 3.5 litres

Perfect dose: According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, men who drink five glasses a day have a 54% lower risk of heart disease.

Overdose: “Excessive loading of three litres or more in a short time can trigger hyponatremia,” says nutritionist Emma Williams. This causes low salt levels, swelling of the brain and can even result in a coma.


Sexual healing

RDA: Having sex less than once a week increases risk of erectile dysfunction

Perfect dose: Three times a week halves cardio problems. “Sex means better oxygenation and a healthier heart,” says Dr Emmanuele Jannini of Italian Society of Sexual Medicine.

Overdose: Having sex 20 times a month or more in your twenties could lead to a raised risk of prostate cancer in your fifties according to University of Nottingham research. Russell Brand need not look so smug.



Image by Corbis.