You know how the science was always kind of wishy-washy about whether coffee was good or bad for your health? Well, scientists in the U.K. assessed the data from over 220 studies — yes, that much research has been done on coffee — and came to one decisive conclusion: The benefits of drinking coffee far outweigh the risks.
Coffee drinkers lowered their risk of liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers. Despite the correlation between caffeine and stress, coffee drinkers were also less likely to die from stroke.
Caffeine from any source is also known to improve lung function, help glucose metabolism in the gut, boost athletic performance, and provide partial migraine relief.
This is good news for humanity. Life without coffee would look a lot different than our lives do today. According to the International Coffee Organization, over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily. Can you imagine having to rely on alternatives to caffeine in the morning for energy? The thought has us wanting to sprint to our favorite coffee shop for a satisfying cup of joe.
However, the researchers warn against jumping too far with their conclusions. “Findings of our umbrella review should be interpreted with caution,” warned Robin Poole, who was involved in the study. “Evidence in the review came mainly from observational research, so we can’t extrapolate our findings to suggest people start drinking coffee or increasing their intake in attempts to become healthier.”
Of course, if you’re buying extremely sugary drinks from Starbucks, those health benefits are basically moot. Researchers recommend drinking your coffee black — or at least using one of the healthiest creamers for your cup.