Why do we think coffee fights tiredness?
Firstly, people who drink coffee say they feel more awake. They also notice it in others. Secondly, surveys back this up. In 2016, 84% of people drinking coffee agreed it helps them get started for the day.
Thirdly, some scientists say coffee with caffeine can boost your brain, help you exercise longer, and improve your sports skills.
All three types of research point to the same thing.
However, health and diet news is always changing and sometimes gives mixed messages. This includes coffee too.
Since the early ’90s, there have been over 2,700 studies about coffee and health from researchers worldwide. With new headlines every week, coffee lovers must think critically about the latest coffee news, which can sometimes be confusing.
To keep up with the latest news on coffee and health, here are 4 things you want to keep in mind when reading news headlines:
How can we tell what the majority of research says on a specific topic?
One method is to look at the “bulk of evidence.” If there are 200 studies on liver cancer, what do most of them conclude? Scientists also use another tool called meta-analysis.
This combines results from many studies to give a more reliable answer.
For instance, on the topic of liver cancer and coffee drinking, a meta-analysis suggests that drinking more coffee could lower the risk of getting liver cancer. So this conclusion isn’t just from a single study you might see in the news.
Are there flaws in the research that could make the findings questionable?
Just like coffee traders worry about issues in their shipments affecting quality and value, there can be problems in health studies about coffee. These “defects” in the research methodology could cast doubt on the results.
What’s the final takeaway about coffee?
For coffee, one study connected to Harvard found that drinking more coffee is linked to a lower risk of dying early.
This supports a study from the National Institutes of Health, which also found that people who drink coffee tend to live longer.
Who has taken a deep dive into the research?
Trusted organizations like the Mayo Clinic and Harvard School of Public Health often give expert opinions on health and nutrition topics. They’re careful about the sources they cite and the partners they work with.
Some media outlets also go beyond just the headlines to ask insightful questions about the research.