So I am probably the first student to blog about coffee…. JUST KIDDING. This addictive drug (my high school psychology professor is convinced that coffee is a drug) is ever so omnipresent in everyday life. Think about the oligopoly that Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and other coffee shops have created. There are 11,457 Starbucks in the United States alone; THAT IS CRAZY. No matter where you live in the United States, you will come across one of these coffee shops in every every street corner. As a matter of fact, Before i come to my SC200 lecture, I make sure i make a quick stop at Au Bon Pain to pick up a nice cold ice coffee to get me through Andrew’s boring lectures (JUST KIDDING AGAIN). Anyway, you get the point: Coffee is so relevant in our society!
Personally, I am a huge coffee drinker. I drink around three to four cups of coffee a day! I even have an occasional cup of coffee before i go to bed (weird right?). As i state this on here, there is a great number of people who believe that this much coffee is great for me while other people think that this much coffee is poisoning my body. Why is it that there is no black or white answer to this? Let’s find out
First off, what is Coffee? Coffee originates from a coffee fruit which consists of a coffee bean. After plucking the fruit, so that there is just the bean, the bean is roasted with numerous other coffee beans and blended into a liquid form. Within the bean, there is a stimulant called caffeine which is a psychoactive substance. The caffeine travels into the blood stream and is transported to the brain. The caffeine blocks an inhibitory transmitter called the Adenosine. With this occurring, there is an excess firing of neurons. In other words, this coffee makes you alert and awake. Without the excessive scientific jargon, we all know that coffee wakes you up, but how much is too much and how much should we drink?
One study suggests that an optimal amount of coffee is 4 to 5 cups per day. Let’s check it out! According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a study was conducted on 402,260 individuals between the ages of 50-71 to see whether coffee increased a person’s life span. The null hypothesis of this observational study is that coffee does not increase a person’s life span. The alternative hypothesis to this study is that coffee leads to an increase in a person’s life. The study was conducted in order to test whether or not there was a correlation between the X variable: Coffee and the Y variable: increase in life span. The study was observational so there is a chance that there were confounding variables to the explanation of the findings or the result was due to reverse causation. The study showed that over a 12 to 13 year period, as the cups of coffee increased from 0 to 5, there was an increase in the life span of each person, but as the cups of coffee kept increasing, the life span eventually shortened. The concludes that it is relatively healthy to drink around four to five cof coffee a day. From this study we can be confident, but not certain, that coffee is good for you withiups n a certain limit. Let’s look at another study very similar to this one!
A study from the Department of Nutrition from Harvard School of Public Health tested the same hypothesis as the study before: does coffee increase longevity? The study found that people who drank three to four cups of coffee had lower mortality rates than non-drinkers. The study also concluded that drinking too much coffee can interfere with sleep which can cause cardiovascular problems and create the opposite effect of increasing mortality.
so the two study prove that a certain dosage of coffee per day can help increase your life span. But why? Apparently, scientists don’t really know for sure. the coffee bean is loaded with multitudinous amounts of nutrients and phytochemicals, which seems to be a mechanism for the extension of life, however, it is not certain. On the other end, drinking too much coffee can disrupt sleep and create heart problems that can possibly be severe for a person’s health.
At the end of the day, we still don’t know for certain whether coffee is a proven fountain of youth or the poison apple that killed Snow White. However, we do know that coffee has come close to be proven to be healthy in certain amounts. The biggest take away message I want to send out to you guys is that you should do whatever is working for you. If you are a coffee drinker that drinks 3, 4, or even 5 cups of coffee a day, than you should continue to do so if you feel healthy. If you do not drink coffee at all, and you hate the taste, then it is not essential for you to pick up on this habit for a guaranteed increase in life. If you drink more than 5 cups of coffee, and you feel tired or weak, than it should be best to cut down on your intake by a little bit. Coffee can be an amazing habit to increase life span, but it is not as important as eating right, working out, staying active, and getting enough rest, that ultimately makes up the quality and quantity of your life.