This Is How Much Coffee You Need to Drink to Live Longer
After reading this, you'll feel much better about pouring yourself one more cup of joe (or two... or three...)
It’s no secret that coffee is (very, very) good for you. Now, coffee junkies and java lovers have just one more reason to raise their glass—or mug—to their favorite beverage. Not only can coffee improve your memory and protect your brain from dementia, but it can also help you live longer. Plus, you can drink way more joe than you originally thought!
Two studies published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine just confirmed the good news. The first surveyed more than 520,000 people in ten European countries, making it the largest study ever to link coffee and mortality.
Researchers found that drinking more coffee could significantly lower a person’s risk of death across several conditions, including liver disease, suicide in men, cancer in women, and digestive and circulatory diseases.
(These are the clear signs you’re drinking too much coffee.)
“We looked at multiple countries across Europe, where the way the population drinks coffee and prepares coffee is quite different,” said Marc Gunter, reader in cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the United Kingdom, who co-authored the study.
“The fact that we saw the same relationships in different countries is kind of the implication that it’s something about coffee rather than it’s something about the way that coffee is prepared or the way it’s drunk.”
(Espresso vs. coffee: what’s the difference?)
The second study dug even deeper. It found that coffee increased longevity by 18 percent among its 185,000 participants, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
“Given these very diverse populations, all these people have different lifestyles. They have very different dietary habits and different susceptibilities—and we still find similar patterns,” said Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventative medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and leader of the study.
(Here are 11 things that might happen if you switch from coffee to tea.)
So, what’s the magic number of cuppas to increase your lifespan? In the European study, those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a lower risk for all-cause death than people who did not drink coffee at all. The second study found that two to four cups per day did the trick. If your consumption falls in that range, you’ll likely reap the rewards.
The kind of roast you prefer could offer even more wellness rewards. According to another study examining the chemical makeup of light, dark, and decaf brews, the darker the roast, the more protective chemical phenylindanes in every cup, according to Frontiers in Neuroscience.
Phenylindanes, which develop during the roasting process, hinder the “clumping” of two protein fragments common in both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. So those extra cups of coffee could protect against both diseases.
There you have it: Coffee is a miracle drug! All the more reason to pour yourself another cup. Next, check out the ways to make your coffee habit even healthier.
- Annals of Internal Medicine: "Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations"
- Annals of Internal Medicine: "Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries"
- Frontiers in Neuroscience: "Phenylindanes in Brewed Coffee Inhibit Amyloid-Beta and Tau Aggregation"
- CNN: "Drinking more coffee leads to a longer life, two studies say"