I haven’t had coffee in three days and I’m not too happy about it (the stomach flu will do that to you).
But imagine how upset I was over not being able to celebrate with a cup when I heard the exciting news that coffee may make us live longer.
This news comes out of a study conducted by government researchers (who have nothing better to do, apparently) and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers found a small association between drinking coffee and a longer lifespan.
According to the study, men who drank two or more cups of coffee a day had about a 10 percent lower risk of dying over a 13-year period compared with those who drank none; those who drank one cup had a 6 percent lower risk.
Women, my coffee-obsessed mother would be thrilled to know, got an even greater benefit: about a 15 percent lower risk of dying if they drank at least two cups of coffee daily.
But as soon as I started feeling better enough to start brewing, I got a little jolt (and not the good, coffee kind).
Though the Internet was abuzz with news that coffee can save your life, others argued not so much. There was, of course, more to the story.
The study also found that coffee drinkers are more prone to engage in a host of unhealthy behaviors—they often drink heavily (three or more alcoholic drinks a day), eat more red meat, exercise less and eat fewer fruits and veggies.
Oh, and those who had the biggest reductions in premature death risk drank enough coffee to make you go into Starbucks debt—at least 6 cups a day.
Other researchers said the associations between coffee and a longer life are inconclusive and pretty vague.
But all that doesn’t matter much, as America gets hopped up on any and all coffee news. It’s been the grounds (pardon the pun) for controversy—does it make us live longer or die younger? Is caffeine bad for you or good for you?
How young is too young to start drinking it? Does it have an effect on older individuals?
And just like any other consumer-driven health news, around and around in circles we go.
Is news that excessive coffee consumption can make you live longer too good to be true? Who knows? But on this front, I’ll become an optimist.