Students who run on coffee may be in luck because recent studies have shown an association with people who drink coffee and live longer.

Research done by a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California showed a relation between people who consume coffee everyday and have a prolonged life.
Although it may seem like there is a connection, it is possible that a longer life isn’t a direct result of drinking coffee and this is pointed out by PSUC Nutrition Program Director Jorunn Gran-Henriksen.

“Studies show that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of premature death,” Gran-Henriksen said. “This is based on observational studies and do not demonstrate cause and effect.”
It’s not the caffeine part of the coffee that would help you live longer but the actual coffee.

Coffee is full of antioxidants, and it has been proved that drinking it in reasonable amounts can help prevent other kinds of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and different kinds of cancer.

“Coffee tastes good and makes us feel good,” Gran-Henriksen said. “For many of us, the caffeine serves as a pick me up and gives us a little more energy and ability to keep reading and working.”
While there are some benefits to drinking coffee, too much of it can actually have negative effects on your body. Gran-Henriksen said about four cups a day is a safe amount of consumption for healthy adults.

In a study at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and University of California San Diego, it showed that people who add cream and sugar to their coffee are consuming 69 more calories than people who drink black coffee.

The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical research and practice group, said that if one is drinking more than three to four cups a day, the caffeine could have negative effects on his or her body such as insomnia, nervousness and in some cases, muscle tremors.

“Our bodies adapt to coffee, and if you for some reason do not get your daily dose, you may get a headache and feel achy, fatigued and in a brain fog,” Gran-Henriksen said. “Caffeine withdrawal syndrome is actually a new diagnosis in DSM-5, which is the newest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

On a college campus, coffee is seen everywhere. At PSUC, it is available anywhere from the Tim Hortons on campus to the vending machines. Senior art photography major Jessie Smillie is a coffee drinker, and she knows its effects on a person.

“I drink at least two cups, two larges, a day,” Smillie said. “There’s so much caffeine in it, so much sugar, that’s not good for you.”

Freshman economics major Jennifer Molina also drinks much coffee, and she doesn’t realize that it has harmed her since she started drinking it in the 6th grade.
“I’ve been drinking coffee since 6th grade, every single day, and I’m fine,” Molina said.

Even though there is a small relation between coffee and an extended life, it doesn’t mean people can drink only coffee and nothing else to live a healthy life.

Email Annika Campbell at fuse@cardinalpointsonline.com

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