Your morning cup of joe and your evening nightcap aren’t likely to kill you. Instead, they may help you live longer, according to one of the largest ever studies of the “oldest old” age group.
Starting in 2003, researchers at the University of California’s Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) monitored more than 1,600 people in the nonagenarian age group. The 90+ Study wanted to find out what helps people in the fastest growing age group in the United States live to 90 and beyond.
“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,” the researchers wrote on the study’s website.
Coffee and Cocktails
If you’re a fan of life’s vices, the results of the study are good news. The researchers found that people who drank moderate amounts of coffee or alcohol lived longer than those who abstained.
The study didn’t list what it means by moderate, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men is a moderate amount. For coffee, the Mayo Clinic says any more than four cups is too much, so one or two a day should be fine.
The 90+ Study also found that people who are “overweight” in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
Whiskey Morning and Night?
The results of the study should be no surprise to some, including Jack Reynolds, a 106-year-old who drinks shots of whiskey every morning and night to stay healthy.
In January, Jayne Goodwin, Reynolds’ youngest daughter told Metro UK her father “has a whiskey in his tea every morning and two shots of Grouse in a glass with lemonade at night and swears by it.”
In fairness, that’s not all Reynolds, who recently broke a Guinness World Record for being the oldest man to get his first tattoo, does to stay healthy.
“Hard work and fresh air, family because there are lots of young ones around, and whiskey have kept him fit,” his daughter said. “He is a stickler for routine. Eight, 12, and four are the times of his three meals, every single day.”
Need another reason to believe booze could be the key to longevity? A recent Polish study found red wine, chocolate and beer could help you live longer.