health

New Study Finds That Drinking Coffee And Alcohol May Be The Key To Living Longer

by Angela Andaloro

Who needs the fountain of youth when you’ve got coffee and alcohol? We all want to live our best lives for as long as we can.

A lot of times, health findings can discourage us from enjoying the things that bring us joy. A new study from the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders is here to change all of that. The study found that in moderation, coffee and alcohol can actually decrease the chances of premature death!

The idea that your favorite drinks can keep you alive and healthy well into your 90s seems counterintuitive, but the science is there.

Since 2003, the study has followed more than 1,600 people in their 90s to determine which habits of theirs might contribute to their longevity. Alcohol and coffee both checked out as habits that the healthy nonagenarians shared.

The study also found that people who were slightly overweight in their 70s thrived in their 90s. Not only can you keep your coffee and booze, but you can skip the diet, too!

elderly people

If you ask some older people what their secret to living a long life is, you may get some funny answers. Everyone has their own special something that gets them by.

Usually, the things we’re told are “good” for us don’t coincide with the things we enjoy.

A new study by researchers at the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders might very well change that.

The researchers have been conducting an ongoing study that has looked at more than 1,600 people so far over the age of 90. The participants visit a doctor twice a year, answer questions about their health and lifestyle, and undergo various physical and neurological tests.

The study has found that drinking two servings of alcohol each day decreases your chance of premature death by 18%. That sounds like a pretty good reason to stop by happy hour.

What’s interesting about that finding is that researchers can’t quite say why that’s so.

“I have no explanation for it,” said Dr. Claudia Kawas, one of the lead researchers on the study, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”

coffee cups

The study also found that drinking two cups of coffee a day decreased the chance of premature death by 10%. That’s awesome for those of us who can’t make it through the day without it.

Before you go ahead and make yourself a celebratory Irish coffee, pump the brakes. Since caffeine can cover up the depressant properties of alcohol, mixing the two can lead to overdrinking.

The study also discovered some interesting things surrounding diets. People who were slightly overweight in their 70s seemed to fare better in their 90s.

run

While you might not need to be so stringent with your diet, exercise matters. They found that exercising for 15 to 45 minutes daily reduced chances of premature death by 11%.

playing chess

Another important factor is having some hobbies. Participants who spent two hours a day on a hobby reduced their risk of premature death by 21%.

Moderation is key in all these things. Overindulging in any one area can throw you off completely.

It’s also important to note that making it to 90 doesn’t guarantee a wonderful quality of life. The study found that over 40% of those who lived past 89 suffered from some degree of dementia.

Almost 80% of the group studied also dealt with some kind of disability. For women, the numbers are even higher.

The study is excellent proof that you can enjoy life’s little luxuries and still have a long and healthy life. Just remember that everything is best enjoyed in moderation!