Coffee just might be the world’s favorite vice. It can transform anyone into a morning person, it blends delightfully into various sweets and treats, and it’s caffeinated enough to pull you through the day.
But you’ll be pleased to know that the reasons to drink more coffee stretch far beyond its enticing taste. The beverage has some health benefits, too. So your caffeine habit, while maybe not the best for your wallet, is pretty great for your body.
Some types of coffee have more caffeine than others. If you’re worried about your blood pressure (or you just get the jitters from caffeine) make sure you know which kinds contain the most.
You may also want to brush up on which orders from your favorite coffee chains are the healthiest and which ones load you with added sugar. While coffee itself has all of these health benefits, you might be shorting yourself on some of the health benefits if you drink hundreds of extra calories and grams of sugar in every cup. Luckily, though, black coffee isn’t the only option. Try mixing it up with a few healthy ways to sweeten your coffee and indulge your sweet tooth without overloading your body with sugar.
But keeping all of those factors in mind, coffee is pretty great for you. Here are 14 totally legitimate health reasons to drink more coffee every day.
According to a study from early 2018, two quality beverages — coffee and wine — could elongate your life. In a study of over 1,600 people over 90, those who lived longest tended to have coffee and wine drinking habits. In another more recent study, research suggested that drinking coffee could cut your risk of dying by 16 percent. Want to become one of the world’s oldest people? Grab a cup of joe.
You know the saying about your heart skipping a beat? Well, it actually can. But unlike the flutter of newfound love, this heartbeat abnormality isn’t a good thing. Atrial fibrillation, or an irregular and often rapid heart rate, can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and even stroke. The good news is that coffee, according to one recent study, can actually help prevent atrial fibrillation. Oh, coffee… We’re falling in love with you.
Hitting a slump at the gym? Try drinking coffee beforehand. The science says it could improve your workout performance — but there’s a catch. It’ll only work if you don’t already routinely drink caffeine.
Drink it while you can — coffee might not be around for much longer. Global warming is taking its toll on the coffee industry. According to a study from 2017, the area of land suitable for coffee production could be reduced by up to 88 percent if precautions aren’t taken to preserve the crop. Of course, this land depletion wouldn’t occur for some time; this is more of an excuse to drink more coffee than a reason. But we won’t tell.
Two papers published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in July 2017 showed the same thing: Coffee lowers your risk of early death from a number of different causes. It took three cups daily to make a significant difference — you might want to start making your own coffee at home to avoid going broke trying to make that quota.
Want to keep your brain sharp? Drink some coffee. It will make you feel more alert in the moment, sure, but its brain-boosting effects don’t stop there. Research has shown that drinking three cups of coffee daily can help prevent Alzheimer’s. Additional studies have suggested that coffee helps stave off all kinds of cognitive decline.
According to one 11-year study, drinking coffee was correlated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. This benefit is pretty exclusive to black coffee — the studies didn’t pump their participants with the sugary coffee drinks sold at some popular chains. If you’re at a Starbucks looking to order something with health benefits, steer clear of their sugar-loaded drinks and opt for something healthier instead.
If you drink too much wine, your liver won’t be happy. But drink too much coffee and you might just undo some damage. According to a study from Reuters of 430,000 participants, increasing your coffee intake by at least two cups dramatically decreases your risk of liver cirrhosis, or chronic liver damage that could lead to liver failure. Of course, a cup of coffee won’t undo the damaging effects of one too many alcoholic drinks. Some studies show that an extra glass of wine can actually shave minutes off of your life.
Many people think of their coffee habit as a dangerous addiction; but it might actually be good for your mental health. A study published by the National Institutes of Health shows a link between increased coffee consumption and decreased incidence of depression among women.
DNA isn’t something you can strengthen at the gym — it’s something you strengthen with your diet. Weaker DNA is more likely to break apart, and such damaged DNA increases the risk of cancer. One study showed that drinking dark roast coffee decreased the frequency of DNA strand breaks in study participants.
This one’s somewhat contentious. Science goes both ways on whether coffee causes or prevents cancer. In California, some advocate for a cancer warning to be placed on the drink due to certain compounds that may increase the risk of cancer. However, other research shows that coffee decreases the likelihood of death from all causes, including cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there are a number of recent studies that show coffee could reduce your risk of multiple types of cancer.
Coffee may stain, but it can help keep your teeth nice and clean. Strong black coffee actually kills bacteria that lead to tooth decay, according to a study from Brazil. Another much larger study showed that coffee might prevent periodontal disease.
A workplace without coffee sounds like a dark place, indeed. Your need for a coffee break is actually backed by science. A study from UC Davis showed that coffee enhanced productivity in a workplace setting and made people work better together. Just don’t drown your coffee in sugary, dense creamers — here are the healthiest and unhealthiest creamers you can buy.
More from The Daily Meal: