Coffee (along with its famous phytonutrient, caffeine) is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world, but what does that mean for the health of those who drink it? And do added sweeteners make a difference? According to a new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, no matter how you take your coffee, there's good reason to stick with your morning cuppa. Here's what the researchers found.
For this study, researchers specifically wanted to see if unsweetened coffee, versus coffee with sugar or artificial sweeteners, had any different effects on health outcomes.
Pooling from data in the U.K. Biobank study health behavior questionnaire, a team of researchers out of China looked at the coffee habits-and health outcomes-of over 171,000 U.K. residents. And what they found is notable for anyone who swears by their coffee consumption.
The study involved a seven-year follow-up period, in which the participants' health outcomes were recorded. And good news, coffee drinkers-coffee consumption was linked with positive health outcomes in this study.
Namely, adults who drank "moderate" amounts of coffee (1.5 to 3.5 cups a day), either unsweetened or with sugar, were more likely to enjoy improved longevity and longer life spans in that seven-year follow-up period. (There's a reason longevity experts swear by the antioxidant-rich brew.)
However, it's important to note that the participants who liked sugar in their coffee were averaging about 1 teaspoon per cup-which is a lot less than what you'll find in sweet specialty coffee drinks from your local shop. And the jury is still out on the effects of artificial sweeteners, the study authors note, so it's likely best to go the natural route when sweetening your coffee with sugar. Other people choose to forgo sugar and incorporate more functional health ingredients like grass-fed collagen into their daily coffee ritual.*
As the authors explain, there are a lot of factors at play in a study like this that make it difficult to directly link coffee and health outcomes, such as socioeconomic status and other lifestyle factors. Nevertheless, it would appear coffee drinkers don't need to skip out on their morning ritual, and those who like a little sweetness in their cup can keep on adding it. But of course, everything is best in moderation!
Coffee is a staple for so many, and for good reason: It's tasty, energizing, and according to this research, has some notable longevity perks too.
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