Researchers finally settle the great coffee debate: Is it better to cut back on your coffee consumption or help yourself to that third cup?
There are two types of morning people: Those who can't even function before a cup of coffee and those who swear off caffeine altogether. No matter which side you're on, there are plenty of studies to back up your stance.
Some studies have shown that coffee increases your risk of bladder or urinary cancer, messes with your gut health, and stains your teeth. But for every negative piece of news out there, there's at least one study boasting the benefits of a cup of joe. Other research has shown coffee can actually reduce your risk of some types of cancers by maintaining healthy antioxidant levels and preventing DNA damage. Coffee has also been shown to decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease, and heart disease. Plus, drinking coffee could ultimately help you live longer and even boost your fitness performance. But wait, that's not all—check out these 11 Coffee Stats You Never Knew.
So, stuck in between these conflicting opinions, what's a coffee lover to do? A study published in the new issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety finally puts an end to the confusion. The researchers found there are more benefits than risks associated with drinking coffee, which is a big win for caffeine addicts everywhere.
For the comprehensive look into coffee, researchers from Ulster University in the United Kingdom reviewed more than 1,200 previous studies, dating back to 1970. And while the results were mixed, when looked at altogether, the consensus was that regularly drinking three or four cups of coffee per day won't harm your health. If anything, there's a slight health benefit.
Most of the findings are based on observational data, so the specific ingredients in coffee that promote these health benefits and the balance between the benefits and the risks are still unknown. The researchers also point out that more info is needed on whether or not these findings would be the same for caffeine of any kind (what about tea or soda?) or if they are specific to coffee. Either way, consider their conclusion reason enough to splurge at your favorite cafe today.