You open your eyes in the morning, moan and bribe yourself to climb out of bed by visualizing an enormous cup of coffee. Sound familiar? For those of us who depend on the joy of java to get going in the morning and keep going in the afternoon, a new study takes some of the steam out of our brew. Researchers have discovered a link between drinking coffee and the risk of death, reported the New York Daily News on August 15. How much is too much? Find out, including tips on what to swap, below.
The bad news for java lovers: Drinking four or more cups of coffee daily (equivalent to 28 cups or more weekly) is associated in a 50 percent higher mortality rate for men and women under 55 years of age. For those of all ages, the rate is 21 percent higher. Ironically, the news comes on the heels of studies indicating that coffee protects against conditions such as diabetes and provides us with healthy antioxidants. So what's the message for us to memorize? Less is more when it comes to health, according to study co-author Dr. Carl Lavie, director of the department of cardiovascular diseases at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. "The low doses seem to be very safe," Dr. Lavie said. "And that's still a fair amount of coffee."
If you're used to drinking four or more cups of java daily, try these tips for cutting down on your beloved brew:
- Breakfast: If you tend to drink more than one cup of coffee at breakfast, try turning that one cup into two by mixing it half and half with fat-free steamed milk. Bonus:You'll get extra protein and calcium in your diet.
- Mid-morning: Used to a java break? Try hot cocoa instead, which has been shown to boost brain power - get the delicious details by clicking here.
- Lunch: Indulge in the soothing benefits of tea with your lunch. Experiment with different herbal blends, such as Celestial Seasonings Herb Tea Sampler (click for details).
- Mid-afternoon: Boost your energy with a healthy smoothie, such as the homemade power shake from fitness guru Tony Horton: Get the recipe by clicking here.