- One of the four ‘Heavenly Kings’ of Cantopop, Lau says energy-giving drink ‘relaxes’ him, he even sups down the beverage just before bed
- Vegetarian Lau is not the only star who swears by coffee, he is joined by Jackie Chan and Australian actor Hugh Jackman of Wolverine fame
Hong Kong star Andy Lau Tak-wah has a busy schedule promoting his latest movie, The Wandering Earth II , and it seems caffeine is his secret energy weapon.
In a recent appearance on the Douyin talk show, Opening Remarks, Lau -who starred in the 2002 blockbuster Infernal Affairs – confessed that he drinks a whopping 20 cups of coffee a day.
The 61-year-old actor, singer and film producer, known as one of the “four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop”, said coffee puts him at ease – he even likes to drink it before bed.
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Many people online said so much caffeine would keep them awake at night.
“I would have trouble sleeping if I drink more than 1 cup and past a certain time,” wrote one. “How can he sleep at night? I can’t sleep if I drink coffee at 3pm,” wrote another.
Lau, a vegetarian, said it is the only beverage that relaxes him.
“Drinking other beverages just doesn’t work, and I can’t have cold drinks either,” he said, adding that his family often reprimands him for his coffee habit. “I’m not allowed to have coffee at home which is why I like working outside.”
Sci-fi blockbuster, The Wandering Earth II, a prequel to the 2019 film of the same name – the original was a huge box-office success raking in US$700 million – also stars Wu Jing and Li Xuejian.
In the same interview, Wu asked Lau if drinking coffee kept him looking young.
“Are your age-defying looks the result of drinking 20 cups of coffee a day?”
Caffeine, the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world, is a naturally occurring chemical that stimulates the nervous system to enhance mental alertness.
But how much is too much?
“Caffeine intake arising from moderate consumption of caffeine-containing drinks, including coffee and milk tea, would not pose risk of adverse effects in healthy adults.
“Nevertheless, consumers are advised to maintain a balanced and varied diet,” advises the Hong Kong government’s Centre for Food Safety.
The US Mayo Clinic said up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults.
That is about the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two “energy shot” drinks.
The effect caffeine has on the mind and body differs for each person. And while a morning brew has its perks, high doses can have unpleasant side-effects such as anxiety, headaches and nervousness.
Studies have found that higher caffeine intake can also increase the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It may also decrease total sleeping time.
Lau is not the only celebrity known for their love of coffee.
Australian actor and self-confessed coffee snob Hugh Jackman whose films include The Wolverine and Logan took his love for beans a step further by co-founding the Laughing Man coffee company.
Stunt master star Jackie Chan, who once said “coffee is a language in itself”, also ventured into the coffee bean business and in 2006 launched his own branded chain of coffee shops in Asia, the first in the Philippines.
US singer Taylor Swift is known to drink several cups a day with Starbucks’ grande caramel non-fat latte her number one choice.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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