It's good for you. It's bad for you. There's a lot of conflicting information out there about the effects of coffee and alcohol on your overall health. However, one recent study of 90-year-olds found that people who drink coffee and alcohol in moderation tend to live longer than those who abstain from both, Forbes reported. The research, called The 90+ Study, explored the correlation between certain lifestyle choices and longevity.
Researchers at the University of California Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders and the Clinic for Aging Research and Education (CARE), located in Laguna Woods, California, gathered information about people who reached the 90-year milestone and found that an overwhelming number of participants told clinicians that they drank coffee and alcohol. While this doesn't necessarily mean that java and liquor are the reason these people reached their 90th birthdays, this finding definitely warrants further investigation.
"Because little is known about people who achieve this milestone, the remarkable increase in the number of oldest-old presents a public health priority to promote the quality as well as the quantity of life," researchers said in a brief about the study.
There are other studies that claim that having a Lorelai Gilmore level coffee habit can help you live longer, as well as studies that report moderate alcohol consumption is the key to a long life. Perhaps combining these two things is the fountain of youth. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that drinking up to eight cups of coffee a day, even decaf, could prevent premature death.
"A new study of nearly half a million people in the United Kingdom suggests a lower risk of death was associated with drinking more coffee, including among coffee drinkers who have eight or more cups per day, in both slow and fast metabolizers of caffeine, and in drinkers of ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee. The results come with a warning to interpret them with caution because they are based on observational data and cannot prove causation," a press release about the August 2018 study explained. While a straight line can't be definitively drawn between coffee and living longer, these types of studies certainly make a case for dedicating more resources to researching the properties of coffee and alcohol.
It's important to be cautious about both of these substances, though; a major global study published this past August concluded that there's literally no safe level of alcohol consumption, based on how dangerous drinking to excess can be both directly and indirectly, and caffeine, like alcohol, is an addictive substance that can have adverse health effects. When it comes to both of these substances, moderation is key.
As to whether or not casual alcohol consumption can help you live longer, an analysis of 87 studies about the topic published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reported that there is no direct evidence that drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. Basically, it's really not clear what will help you see your 90th birthday. However, if you enjoy coffee, go ahead and drink it. If you like to have a few drinks a week, it's probably not going to hurt you. However, if neither of these things are your jam, there's no reason to start consuming them now.