At the intersection of science and clickbait, there lies coffee. What presumably start as arguments and inquiries made in good faith get twisted by we media folk into sensational headlines about “Science Proves Drinking Coffee Will Kill You” or “A New Study Shows That Drinking Coffee Will Make You Live Forever, But Only If You Drink Exactly 3.28 Cup A Day.” It’s just the way the world is. You, dear reader, probably aren’t going to give us those sweet, sweet clicks about some stupid science mumbo jumbo unless we grab you with a bonkers headline.
Now Science, bless them, are embracing the absurd and writing the attention-grabbing headlines for us with their newest discovery, “Fuck it drink 25 cups of coffee. It won’t kill you.”
Maybe they didn’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the jist of it. According to CNN, new research funded in part by the British Heart Foundation finds that drinking five cups of coffee a day is no worse for your arteries than drinking less than one (and before you all get hot on the biscuit and take to social media, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN BY A CUP, OK?!). These findings run contrary to previous research that found coffee “can cause a stiffening of the arteries, putting pressure on the heart and increasing the likelihood of stroke or heart attack.”
So how did get land on 25 cups being a perfectly reasonable amount of coffee to not initiate cardiac arrest? In this most recent study performed by scientists at Queen Mary University of London and presented yesterday at the British Cardiovascular Society conference, researchers examined 8,412 individuals, breaking them up into three different groups: those who drank less than one cup of a coffee a day, those who drank one to three, and those to drank more than three (but no more than 25. The 26+ were excluded as outliers, which is a weird and arbitrary line to draw but ok). Participants were all given MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests, factoring in things like “age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, weight, blood pressure, diet and how much alcohol a person drinks.”
They found, according to researcher Kenneth Fung, that “drinking more than three cups of coffee a day did not significantly increase the stiffness of blood vessels compared to people who drink one cup or less a day.”
So there you go. Science says drinking 25 cups of coffee—again, not 26, that’s a bridge too far to even be studied—won’t make your heart explode.
But let’s be real for a moment. If you drink 25 cups of coffee a day, you will most certainly die prematurely. To even get to 25 cups of coffee, you have to make many bad choices, conservatively 10 of them. You’re undoubtedly making all sorts of other questionable decisions throughout your day-to-day activities. Eventually, one of them is going to get you.