3-5 Cups a Day Just May Prolong Your Life

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You should be drinking more coffee than you do unless you are one of the few who drink 3-5+ cups a day.  In fact, the most recent findings suggest that drinking 5 plus may confer health benefits including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a top nutrition panel.  They also found no health hazards to drinking 3-5 cups a day. The interesting thing, despite the presence of coffee chains the world over like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and the lesser known Canadian outfit, Tim Hortons that never made much of a splash in the States, no country averages more than 3 cups a day.  In the U.S., known as a coffee drinking nation, folks average 1 cup a day – just one.  Dating back to the early 20’s when records where first available, 1946 was the year of greatest coffee consumption in the U.S. at 2 cups per day per capita.  But why 1946?  I have some theories that account for the uptick:

  • In 1946, you could buy two cups for the shiny newly minted FDR dime.
  • Professional baseball teams started playing night games, and to stay awake, fans needed coffee, especially on the cold spring nights and even colder October nights during the World Series played in Boston and St. Louis in 1946.
  • 1946 was the year of U.S. rockets, atomic bomb tests and the H Bomb patent.  It was a year of space, technology and the beginning of the cold war between the U.S. and the Soviets.  A Cold War requires hot coffee and the newly invented electric blanket.
  • And finally, there must have been quite a bit of celebrating and then coffee drinking as President Truman declared the end of World War II.

You boomers out there – 1946 – 1964, drink up, it can’t hurt and might do us some good. Gen. X and Millennials, it’s ok to have your lattes and cappuccinos, but cut down on the whipped cream, caramel and sugar.  And anything with a frap in the title is probably ill-advised. K-Cup drinkers, the jury is still out.  Not sure how healthy it is to shoot hot water through a plastic cup, but it’s probably no worse for you than a Styrofoam cup of coffee.  In any case, whatever your thing – Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, K-cups or just your ordinary 8 O’clock drip brew – 3-5 cups a day may just prolong your life!

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