Coffee - just a habit or something more?
For most of us, coffee is a morning ritual. A pick me up before heading out of the house to work, school or shopping. Maybe your “coffee day” begins with a trip thru the drive thru or a quick dash into the coffee shop. We just do it. Gotta have it. We crave our caffeine. And coffee drinkers, on average, don’t stop at just drinking one cup. Take a look at some statistics about America’s love of coffee.
How much coffee does the average person drink?
Coffee Cup Consumption Per Day: Among coffee drinkers, the average consumption in the United States is 3 cups of coffee per day. Men drink as much coffee as women. Women seem to be more concerned about the price than men.
Average Cup Size The average coffee cup size is 9 ounces. 30% of the population drinks coffee occasionally.
Time of Day 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours, 30% between meals, and the remaining 5% with other meals.
Preferences 35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee. 65% prefer to add sugar and/or cream or other flavorings, including specialty drinks..
This amounts to Americans consuming 400 million cups of coffee per day making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world.
Our coffee habit results in almost $4 Billion dollars in coffee being imported every year.
Changing our view of coffee – it’s not just about caffeine
Being at home during the COVID-19 pandemic with it’s interruptions to our daily routines and shut off from our coffee shop experiences has likely changed the amount of coffee you drink and where you get it. I know some who have ceased drinking coffee altogether. Others have learned to home brew and found a love for specialty coffee. Some are simply drinking more coffee because it’s something we do while working at home or schooling our children. Whatever the case, perhaps this a good time to reflect on our motivations for coffee drinking and look beyond what we normally think (or don’t think about) while having another cup.
Typical Motivations In several studies about why we drink coffee, women indicated that drinking coffee is a good way to relax. Men indicated that coffee helps them get the job done. But, are their other factors even more important – especially during these stay at home days we live in?
Coffee and your health – the real reason we should be drinking coffee
As someone who loves good coffee, I usually drink 5-6 cups every day. And I used to drink it without thinking too much in terms of the benefits it brings. I have changed my motivations as I’ve grown older and learned more about why coffee is not just about the lift we get from caffeine. Here are some encouraging facts from two new studies that have found that drinking more coffee each day could lead to a longer life.
The studies, one in the U.S. and one in Europe, and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, tracked over 700,000 people across multiple ethnic groups in over 10 European countries and the U.S. and found that even drinking decaffeinated coffee supplied benefits to individuals over those who did not drink the beverage.
The studies concluded that consuming 1-2 cups of coffee per day resulted in a 12% lower risk of mortality and consuming 2-4 cups a day resulted in an 18% lower risk of mortality. These results in inverse rates of mortality to coffee consumption showed up in diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and cancer.
This study supports earlier studies that found that coffee consumption (both caffeinated and non-caffeinated) is associated with lower risks of high-grade prostate cancer. More studies are underway to better understand this correlation.
These studies pointed out that coffee is a complex mixture of compounds that have various biological effects, such as anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed that in addition to these properties, coffee is a source of polyphenols which have potent antioxidant properties, which helps cells cope with free radicals in the blood.
There is also strong evidence supporting coffees benefits in staving off the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's in those who drink several cups each day.
So drink up. There’s nothing wrong with drinking coffee for the caffeine, but there are many more reasons for enjoying the benefits it brings to our health and well-being.
Be safe and healthy.