New Study Reveals Your Morning Coffee May Lead To A Longer Life

There are plenty of reasons to love coffee. For starters, it's an abundant natural source of caffeine. In fact, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, coffee boasts more than double the amount of caffeine per cup as tea. Caffeine, of course, stimulates wakefulness and alertness, qualities so valued by most adults that, per Healthline, an overwhelming majority of them (90% in North America) drink caffeinated beverages like coffee on a daily basis.

But it's not just that coffee is caffeine-rich and provides a boost in morning mental focus for millions of Americans. Coffee is also an integral part of our social fabric. For hundreds of years, notes Coffee and Health, coffee shops have been popular social centers and gathering places, helping to bring people together and fostering discussion and the dissemination of new ideas.

And have we mentioned coffee's complex flavors and wonderful aroma? These reasons too are compelling, although admittedly not as compelling as a new reason suggested by a study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine: drinking coffee may help you live longer.

Coffee drinkers less likely to die early, per data

Yes, you read that right. Based on information gleaned from over 171,000 participants — via the UK Biobank, an enormous database –- Chinese researchers at a university in Guanzhou found evidence over a seven-year period that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of early death than non-coffee drinkers (via Insider). It should be noted, however, that not only did the recently published study in Annals of Internal Medicine factor in the amount of coffee consumed each day, but it also differentiated between those who drink coffee black, or with sugar or artificial sweeteners. None of the participants in the study had cancer or heart disease, and researchers accounted for lifestyle and other factors such as age and diet. The mean age of those included in the study was 55.6.

As Insider confirmed, the study showed regular drinkers of black coffee had a 16% to 21% lower risk of early death than non-coffee drinkers overall. Per The Guardian, the sweet spot (or non-sweet spot, actually) was between two and a half and four and a half cups of black coffee per day, which reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 29%. Lightly sweetened coffee also showed good results (meaning a reduced risk for an early death), per The Guardian, at least when the sweetener was sugar. The study noted inconsistent results, however, for those taking coffee with artificial sweeteners.