Coffee drinkers rejoice! (Again)
If it seems like you find a new reason to drink coffee every month, that’s because the world is obsessed with caffeine. Sleep (or lack thereof), children, and work seem to be at the heart of our need to caffeinate, but there’s no need to feel guilty about it.
Actually, it turns out that coffee is starting to become something of a superhero.
Coffee Can Extend Your Life
Much like Superman, coffee can extend your life (kind of…more on this later). Instead of dying from a heart attack early on, coffee can swoop in, toss some antioxidants and chlorogenic acid, swoop out and leave you feeling refreshed (the refreshed part due to the caffeine).
I’m being a little glib, but a recent analysis of 3 longterm studies on coffee corroborates what I’m trying to tell you. Over 200,000 people were tracked. People filled out a survey every 4 years detailing their coffee consumption among other lifestyle choices.
Some were tracked for 30 years. Within the span of the studies, nearly 31,000 people died. So the researchers looked critically at the data and discovered a certain trend.
Coffee Drinkers Live Longer
I know this seems counter to what I said earlier, but it requires clarification. Coffee won’t allow you to live 105 years instead of 100. Instead, researchers found it reduces your risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, Type 2 diabetes and suicide.
You’ve undoubtedly seen studies reporting similar effects on those diseases before. Coffee can be an awesome tool to help you prevent all those terrible things from happening to you, but it’s not just any coffee.
You can’t just go to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, order a large (or venti) and load it up with cream and sugar and expect the same sort of benefits.
For starters, drinking immense amounts of sugar daily is the perfect way to trigger Type 2 diabetes. So you can cross that off the list. I won’t go through the rest because I think you get the idea.
How to Get the Benefits of Coffee
Some caveats before I tell you:
1.) The study examined people using a questionnaire. They were not monitoring these individuals day in and day out. The participants weren’t locked in a lab or a bubble for years on end.
2.) The study wasn’t seeking to determine a direct cause and effect relationship between coffee consumption and living longer. A study like that would be nearly impossible to create and monitor due to the level of control that would have to exerted on the participants.
So a direct correlation cannot be assumed, however, there’s enough data to support a positive influence of coffee on your lifespan.
So take the results with a spoonful of sugar. However, this doesn’t mean the analysis isn’t valid. It’s relevant because of the giant scope as well as the factors the authors considered – including whether or not alcohol affected the results.
Note: it didn’t. (If you are going to consume alcohol, do so responsibly. Several cups of Irish coffee a day will likely hamper the benefits). However, smoking undermined that benefits of coffee.
Moving on to the important part, the authors found the most benefits in people who drank a moderate amount of coffee. Moderate means within the range of 1-3 cups of coffee a day.
Not sure when you should drink your 1-3 cups of coffee? Believe it or not, there is a best time to drink coffee to get the most out of it.
Drink coffee and live long(er)!