Excessive coffee consumption increases risk of death

If you pour yourself more than four cups of coffee a day, you could be shortening your life, according to a 2013 study conducted by the Mayo Clinic.

The study revealed that people under the age of 55 who drink more than 28 cups of coffee a week have an increased risk of death, especially when paired with diabetes, hypertensionand heavy alcohol consumption.

Jill Hamilton-Reeves, an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said students should be more concerned with the short-term effects of heavy caffeine use, such as increased anxiety, insomnia and problems controlling blood pressure or blood sugar. Unfiltered coffee, like espresso drinks, is also associated with moderately elevated cholesterol.

The study’s findings could be affected by how the coffee was prepared and differences in the subjects’ diets, Hamilton-Reeves said.

Allie Varas, a senior from Sandy, Utah, uses coffee drinks such as iced Americanos to help her stay awake. Varas drinks up to three cups of coffee a day when she is under stress from classes, but she says the Mayo study makes her worry about her excessive coffee-drinking friends.

“It kind of freaks me out and makes me want to knock cups out of the hands of some of my friends who drink a lot more than I do,” Varas said.

Cody Janousek, a senior from Lawrence, drank coffee every day this summer to propel him through a 40-hour workweek.

“The poor college student in me likes to brew a pot of coffee and then throw it in the refrigerator and then drink it cold the next morning,” Janousek said.

He believes moderation is key, as long as you do not add extreme amounts of creamer and sugar.
The moderate amount is about 300mg, whether it is from coffee, energy drinks, tea or soda, Hamilton-Reeves said.

That’s about two or three cups of coffee, depending how strongly it is brewed.

Moderate coffee consumption also provides protection against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, prostate and liver cancer and liver cirrhosis, Hamilton-Reeves said.

But be wary of how that coffee is consumed.

“Avoid excessive consumption of fancy coffee drinks, which not only add unnecessary calories, but also strain a college-student budget,” Hamilton-Reeves said.

  • Updated Sep. 5, 2013 at 12:57 am
  • Edited by Jessica Mitchell