Raise your hand is you can’t function in the morning until the first sip of coffee touches your lips.
I personally am flailing both of my hands in the air, and I know I’m not alone in this. According to the 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends online survey, 62 percent of more than 3,000 participants said they consume coffee daily.
However, some people pick on the fiends who can’t go a day without their morning brew, as there’s so much controversial research on the pros and cons to drinking coffee—but a recent study shows that the joke is actually on the non-coffee drinker.
It turns out that people who regularly consume their daily cup of Joe live longer on average than those who don’t drink coffee, according to a new analysis by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and the Feinberg School of medicine at Northwestern University, published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The analysis also proved that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just a cup or two. In fact, the more coffee, the better! In the study, people who drank a lot of coffee lived longer than those who were only occasional coffee drinkers (i.e., just had it when they were tired and not as part of their morning routine).
So what’s the magic number of cups of coffee that we have to drink to increase our longevity? The study found that more health benefits were associated with eight or more cups a day. Yes, you’re reading that right. That equates to about a half gallon of java!
While this isn’t the first time coffee has proven to lead to a longer life (coffee consumption was linked to 8 percent to 15 percent reduction in the risk of death, according to study in the journal Circulation) it is, however, the first bed of research to show that excessive consumption can do so, which is good news for people who fear they might be drinking it too much.
That’s not to say we should all be drinking eight cups of blonde roast a day—most of us would be bouncing off the walls! The cool thing is, decaffeinated coffee works almost just as well here, so you could use that in place of a caffeinated cup.
Additionally, these results are mostly referring to black coffee. Adding multiple packets of sugar or a high fructose corn syrup laden creamer makes the health benefits go right out the window.
Another caveat: Pregnant women should of course speak with their doctor about consuming coffee, and certainly should not be getting eight cups a day, if even one.
If a longer life isn’t incentive enough to pour yourself another cup, know that there’s been tons of research on the benefits of coffee—even more so than the negatives of drinking too much. For example, coffee can reduce your risk of many diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease. Additionally, if you suffer liver damage caused by alcohol, drinking two cups of coffee a day might be able to reverse those effects, according to a review of studies.
If you’re drinking a cup of coffee right now, go ahead—down it, and pour yourself another cup.
Do you love or despise coffee? How many cups of coffee do you drink a day? Did you ever fear you were drinking too much? How do you feel about your coffee consumption now?