Opinion: You can have your coffee and drink it too


Carley Hull is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Carley Hull

I drink too much coffee. I know this by the three travel mugs I took home from work the other day, the significant dent in my K-cups and my recognition of various Starbuck’s baristas when they aren’t at work. I won’t even get into my tea collection; that’s another issue.

According to the National Coffee Association, 83 percent of Americans said they drank coffee in 2013, and 54 percent of Americans over 18 drank coffee every day in 2010.

Every year there is a new health craze about coffee, whether it lessens the chances of cancer or will increase your lifespan. It seems Americans are constantly backing up what they like with some health benefit, rather than just enjoying it for the sake of enjoyment.

This year’s proposed health benefit of coffee is murky and bizarre. According to the New York Times, a new study conducted from 1999 to 2010 found that coffee may protect the liver. Now this study may appear to be a savior to the binge-drinking college student, but the key disclaimer to this this statement is the word “may.” Drinking coffee is not going to save your liver from weekends of abuse.

In the results from the study, four different liver enzymes were tracked and found that people who drink about three cups a day are around “25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels.”

In short, coffee isn’t killing your liver, not that we were worried about that, but there is no clear reason backing up coffee actually helping your liver.

This study could potentially be the new reason people may start advocating coffee drinking; making me wonder if people are taking too much stock into these ambiguous studies and trying to justify drinking coffee for health, as if enjoyment isn’t enough of a reason.

What we do know about the health benefits of coffee is that studies have found that coffee doesn’t increase the risk of cancer or heart disease, and there are some lucrative health benefits that lurk in your morning pick-me-up such as antioxidants. But, when it comes to a coffee shop run, are we really there for these health benefits or for a cup of something that tastes good and makes us feel good?

I think enjoyment trumps the health crazes, so why not order that grande coffee for yourself, and not your liver.