Scientists found that a cup of coffee can help increase your steps.

An experiment with 100 volunteers, which used continuously recording ECGs to track caffeine intake and movement over two weeks, was randomised.

There were both beneficial and harmful short-term health effects of coffee intake, according to the team from the University of California, San Francisco. 

The team stated that volunteers who drank coffee walked an additional 1,000 steps compared to those who didn’t. Each extra cup of coffee increased their steps by 600.

Drinking coffee did not reduce the sleep time. It was 36 minutes shorter for those who had just taken their first cup. The average length of sleep for all other cups is 18 minutes.

While the team couldn’t explain the reason, the researchers said the findings “highlight complex relationships between coffee and good health.”

According to scientists, a latte can increase your daily step count. 


Coffee consumption was associated with increased physical activity and less sleep. Specifically:

  • People who drank coffee had more steps than people who didn’t.
  • According to Fitbit, participants had 36 minutes less sleep each night on the days they drank coffee.
  • Drinking more than one coffee drink more than doubled the number of irregular heartbeats arising from the heart’s lower chambers.
  • Every additional cup of coffee consumed is associated with approximately 600 extra steps daily and 18 minutes less sleep each night.
  • Continuous glucose measurements were not different between coffee and non-coffee drinkers.

The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021, is the first randomised trial to investigate real-time coffee consumption consequences.

Gregory Marcus, a study author, stated that although coffee is most widely consumed in the world it has unknown health benefits.

“While many long-term studies suggest multiple benefits to drinking coffee, the present randomised study is the first attempt at investigating the physiologic effects of coffee.

Dr Marcus and colleagues enrolled 100 adult volunteers into their study, and had them all wear a series of sensors and monitors.

These included continuous recording ECG devices and wrist-worn devices that track sleep and physical activity, as well as continuous glucose monitors for monitoring blood sugar for up to two weeks.  

For the purpose of assessing genetic variants which may impact caffeine metabolism, scientists also took DNA saliva samples.

After being randomly assigned, they were required to either drink coffee or no coffee for the next two days. 

A ‘time stamp button” on the ECG monitor allowed coffee consumption to be recorded. Coffee shop visits were also tracked via geotracking.

A daily questionnaire was also provided for volunteers to record how much coffee each day. 

A team of researchers discovered that coffee consumption caused a 54% increase in an abnormal type heartbeat, which is a result of lower heart chambers.

The researchers found that the consumption of more coffee is associated with less episodes of supraventricular Tachycardia. This refers to an abnormally rapid rhythm in the heart, which can be caused by elevated heart chambers.

The team found that coffee consumption was associated with increased physical activity and less sleep.  

People in the coffee drinking category logged more steps than those in the non-caffeinated group. 

Every additional cup of coffee consumed is associated with approximately 600 extra steps daily and 18 minutes less sleep each night. 

The 36 hours they spent drinking coffee per night were also shorter than the days they did not have to drink it. 

A randomised trial, involving 100 adult volunteers wearing continuously recording ECG devices, tracked caffeine intake, movement, sleep and health over two weeks. Stock image

An experiment involving 100 volunteers, who were fitted with continuously recording ECGs, monitored caffeine intake, activity, and sleep over two weeks. Image from stock

Study warns that it takes over a week to get out of slumber for 10 days. 

According to new research, it can take up to seven days to fully recover memory and reaction speed issues after 10 nights of low quality sleep.

To discover whether it is possible to recover from sleep deprivation, and if so how long it takes, a team from Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland recruited 13 volunteers to suffer through ten nights of broken, poor quality sleep.

These ten nights and the subsequent week of uninterrupted quality sleep were filled with questions from volunteers. They also wore wrist sensors, received EEG checks every day, and answered any other questions. 

The volunteers’ reaction times improved after a week of sleep. However, memory and other functions that were affected by the lack of sleep were slower. 

Jeremi Obab, the lead author of the study, stated that previous research had examined the effect of sleep deprivation. However, this first study showed it took more than a week for memory recall and reaction time to recover to their normal levels. 

Continuous glucose measurements were not different between coffee and non-coffee drinkers. 

Dr Marcus stated that more physical activity (which appears to be stimulated by coffee) has many health benefits such as reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer, and greater longevity. 

“On the contrary, reduced sleep can lead to adverse neurologic, psychiatric and cardiovascular outcomes. 

“More frequent abnormal heartbeats in the upper chambers increase risk for atrial fibrillation. However, more frequent abnormal beats in the lower chambers (ventricles) increases the chance of developing heart failure. 

“These findings highlight the complex relationship between caffeine and good health.”

People with faster caffeine metabolism genes had more irregular heartbeats when they drank more coffee.  

Based on genetics, caffeine metabolism is slower than average. This means that people who drink caffeinated coffee get less sleep.

They also found no link between changes in exercise or sleep on coffee’s effects on abnormal heart rhythms.

Dr Marcus pointed out that coffee was randomised to study participants and cause-and effect can be inferred. 

The observations were made by repeating the assessments for coffee consumption on different days. This eliminated concerns about differences between individual characteristics.

The study has been presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. 


Caffeine is safe to consume in amounts of 400 mg daily for the majority. 

Research suggests that it may offer a number of health benefits such as preventing liver disease or type 2 diabetes.

It has been shown that it may even increase longevity.

It’s the most commonly used stimulant in the world, and studies show that it can help increase your daily energy expenditure by about five percent.

According to researchers, combining regular exercise with two-four daily cups of coffee per day would make it easier to shed weight.

One 2015 study found that just one cup per day was enough to help millions of people lose weight after they achieve their goals.