Is Coffee Actually Good For You?

It seems as though every few years there is a new study released on the health benefits or detriments of drinking coffee. Coffee was thought of for years in the scientific community as a possible carcinogen, but its inclusion as a part of a healthy lifestyle in the Department of Health and Human Services' 2015 guidelines did much to dispel this notion (via The New York Times).

With an estimated 1.4 billion cups of coffee being poured every day, it stands to reason that consumers would be interested in knowing about the health impact of their daily habit (via Street Directory).

As with almost anything you put into your body, a large part of the question has to do with the amount of the substance being consumed. Drinking too much coffee can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, jitters, headaches, and nausea (via Very Well Fit) due to the caffeine content in a typical cup of joe.

However, a modest amount of coffee can avoid these side effects. The amount of coffee considered moderate might surprise you as well — three to five cups every day, with a total of some 400 grams of caffeine — is considered a moderate serving.

How coffee can help you stay healthy

If you stick to a daily intake around these guidelines, science is behind you when it comes to positive health effects. "The evidence is pretty consistent that coffee is associated with a lower risk of mortality," said Erikka Loftfield, a National Cancer Institute research fellow.

Specifically, coffee may help prevent a number of conditions including diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis, and Parkinson's disease. A study showed that drinking five cups of coffee each day (instead of none) resulted in a 30 percent risk reduction for type 2 diabetes.

According to studies, coffee consumption also lessened the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and premature death due to any cause including heart attack and stroke, which was heightened in those who didn't consume coffee regularly.

A study in which more than 600 people took part also found that caffeine consumption was associated with weight loss and reduction in body mass index and fat mass because caffeine intake makes it easier to burn calories and therefore lose weight (via Healthline).

And while coffee can help to guard against serious health problems, there is evidence that it can exacerbate gastroesophageal reflux, commonly known as heartburn. And of course as many of us know, if you have a cup too close to bedtime it can make it difficult to fall asleep.