Food & Culture

This Is the Healthiest Number of Cups of Coffee to Drink Per Day

The Curiosity office has a pretty major caffeine habit. If it weren't for coffee, you probably wouldn't be reading this article right now, because it wouldn't exist. No exaggeration. Luckily, research supports the idea that multiple cups of coffee per day is the perfect amount. Phew.

Fill 'Er Up

As long as people have been relying on coffee to get themselves through the day, there's been a debate on how much joe is too much joe. Good news is here for coffee lovers. According to an October 2017 review, drinking three or four cups of coffee in a day is the way to go. This umbrella review (research that combines previous meta-analyses to give a high-level summary), done by researchers at the University of Southampton and University of Edinburgh, looked at more than 200 meta-analyses of different health outcomes associated with coffee consumption. Because different studies use different cup sizes and brew strengths, the three-or-four-cup recommendation is a rough estimate.

Still, the result is comforting: "Coffee consumption was more often associated with benefit than harm." With more than two billion cups of coffee consumed around the world every day, this finding comes with a sigh of relief.

The Miracle Brew

Not only did the review conclude that drinking a bunch of coffee every day won't hurt you, it found specific examples of coffee's borderline miraculous benefits. A daily coffee habit of three or four cups was associated with lower risk of heart disease and of death from any cause. Though the largest benefit was associated with drinking three or four cups, drinking even more than that wasn't found to be problematic. Extra cups of coffee weren't found to be harmful, but the benefits were just less pronounced.

Here's a rundown of some other incredible perks of having a coffee habit: Drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, gallstones, renal stones, gout, some types of cancer, Parkinson's disease, depression, Alzheimer's disease. Coffee has an especially big effect when it comes to lowering the risk of liver cancer and liver disease.

Of course, there are exceptions. Getting too attached to the coffee maker was not recommended for pregnant women, but that's something we already know. It's suggested that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams a day or roughly one small cup of coffee. The review also suggested that three to four cups of coffee in any given day may slightly increase women's risk of fractures, but more evidence is needed.

Three Coffees a Day 'More Health than Harm'

Written by Joanie Faletto January 26, 2018