'Don't talk to me until I've had my first coffee'. In the space of a few centuries, coffee has made its mark in our country: it's now the most widely consumed beverage after water! Ritualized and sacralized, coffee is a fixture in every office, and its mere presence can brighten even the dreariest of mornings. But is it really good for you? On this point, we hear all and sundry. However, a new study has just proved caffeine lovers right.
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Drinking coffee to stay fit at 70?
How many cups of coffee do you drink every day? If you drink less than four cups a day, this study doesn't apply to you (and you're a bit of a gambler, by its standards). If you drink four cups of coffee a day or more, then you're officially a big coffee drinker, and we've got good news for you.
A study published in the scientific journal JAMDA investigated the link between coffee consumption in midlife and fitness in later life. Or, more precisely, what is known as 'senior frailty'. The researchers define it as follows:
"Physical frailty" is an age-related medical syndrome "characterized by a decline in strength and endurance and a reduction in physiological function that increases an individual's vulnerability to the development of increased dependency and/or death".
12,583 compulsive coffee drinkers aged 53 to 73 were evaluated, and here's what they came up with.
Reduced physical fragility thanks to coffee
According to the study, heavy coffee drinkers are generally in better shape at the end of their lives! Inc.com, which had access to the study, notes that :
Participants who drank large amounts of coffee, i.e. four or more cups per day, were twice as likely not to become physically frail when they reached the age of 70.
Does this mean you have to drink a lot of coffee to enjoy your later years? Not necessarily! As the media rightly reminds us, correlation does not mean causation.
In other words, there may be other 'invisible' factors linking heavy coffee drinkers... that have nothing to do with coffee! Nonetheless, this study is one of a number that favour this formidable morning beverage. For example, a previous study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, showed that coffee could slow cognitive decline.
But studies or no studies, don't let this encourage you to drink coffee ad nauseam! Like alcohol, you need to drink it in moderation, because the negative effects of coffee (palpitations, stomach upsets, nervousness) don't wait 20 years before being felt.
This article has been translated from Gentside FR.
JAMDA: Consumption of Coffee, Tea, and Caffeine at Midlife, and the Risk of Physical Frailty in Late Life
Inc.com: A Massive New Study of 12,000 People Just Gave You a Really Good Reason to Drink More Coffee
ACS Publications: Espresso Coffee Mitigates the Aggregation and Condensation of Alzheimer′s Associated Tau Protein