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5 Coffee Habits That May Be Shortening Your Life, According to Science

We turned to research to learn which coffee habits need a kick to the curb.

Let's start with the good news: There are a lot of health benefits to drinking coffee on a regular basis. Coffee can actually do wonders for your body, and can even help you lose weight. But if you're not careful with your coffee habits, that magical cup of Joe may be harmful to your health. That's why we turned to research to learn the coffee habits that could be shortening your life, according to science. Here they are, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

You're drinking too much coffee.

Man barista making coffee latte
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This one may be obvious, but it's a coffee habit worth noting. One previous study that evaluated 40,000 adults noticed that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day could have negative effects on one's lifespan. However, the scientists that authored the study did note that having 28 cups a week is fine (exactly 4 cups each day of the week), but drinking more than that could result in negative consequences in terms of longevity.

2

Your coffee order is drowning in sugar.

Barista adding flavored syrups for coffee
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Have you ever actually looked at the nutrition information for your go-to coffee order? If you're ordering a large caramel latte at your favorite coffee shop, you're likely consuming at least 30 grams of sugar at once—sometimes more at places like Starbucks or Dunkin'.

Studies have shown that eating too much sugar can lead to an early death. And no, it's not due to obesity or weight gain, but the fact that sugar can cause dehydration which can be a symptom of high blood sugar and, left unchecked, can increase your risk of diabetes.

Instead of ordering a sugary latte, why not ask for a regular latte with a small caramel swirl on top? You can mix in the caramel and still get that same great taste, but with significantly less sugar. Or why not make one of these 12 Tastiest Homemade Coffee Drinks From a Nutritionist.

3

You're adding too much creamer.

Coffee creamer
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Similar to your sugary latte, if you're not careful with your creamer, your coffee at home will also be drowning in sugar. Choosing to use half-and-half or a little milk (or even almond milk) would be a better choice than a sugary coffee creamer. However, if you prefer a sweeter coffee taste, simply be careful when measuring out the amount of creamer you put in your cup.

4

You're too committed to decaf.

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Seems a bit counterintuitive, right? But it's true! One study published by the journal Longevity & Healthspan says caffeine can actually help extend your life span, improve your health, and delay age-associated diseases like Alzheimer's. That's because caffeine can actually help with dietary restriction and reduced insulin signaling.

Just be careful of how much caffeine you consume! Healthline reports that consuming over 1,000 milligrams of caffeine a day can cause negative effects on the body including increased anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. Here's Exactly How Much Caffeine Is Too Much Caffeine.

And if you want to start drinking more coffee, here are the 9 Tricks for the Best-Ever Cup of Coffee.

5

You're not drinking it at all.

refusing coffee
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As we said, there are quite a few benefits to drinking coffee regularly—even in terms of longevity! According to the AARP, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death compared to coffee abstainers by 10 to 15%. So maybe it's time you started brewing yourself a cup in the morning.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten