How Much Coffee Should You Drink Every Day?
By Jeffrey Kopman weather.com
This appears to the be the solution for the more than half of all Americans over the age of 18 who drink coffee everyday, according to Statistic Brain. Coffee might feel better on a cold day, but Americans love coffee so much that they drink it everyday — in the heat of summer or the cold of winter.
Although many of these java drinkers enjoy a cup for the caffeine boost, the benefits of coffee stretch beyond a few extra morning jitters.
“[Coffee] is viewed as something that you shouldn’t drink, but it contributes the most antioxidants of anything worldwide,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, told weather.com.
Drinking enough coffee each day can lower your risk of serious conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. But, though coffee can be good for you, drinking in excess can have negative consequences for some people.
“We see so many benefits of coffee,” said Kirkpatrick. “[But] coffee consumption is not a great idea for [children] because it interferes with sleep and appetite. Pregnant women and individuals with heart arrhythmia should also steer clear.”
If these descriptions don’t apply to you, feel free to drink up. But how much coffee should you drink everyday to see a health benefit?
“A lot of the studies do show that the more coffee consumption, the more benefit you get,” said Kirkpatrick. “(But) for a lot of people you can’t have six cups. You either can’t tolerate the caffeine, or just can’t have that much. So when you look at these studies, even with moderate to regular consumption, you’ll still see benefits.”
How does coffee perk up your health and how much should you drink? Click through to get the recommended number of cups to fight off the following diseases.
Women who spend their summers in the sun might want to spend their winters with a cup of coffee — or three. Those who drank more than three cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of skin cancer than those who drank less, according to a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The results were also noticed in men, though the correlation was not as strong.
Researchers specifically attributed this decreased risk to caffeine, and claimed that other sources of caffeine were also linked to a lower risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most-common form of skin cancer. The risk of other forms of skin cancer, such as melanoma andsquamous cell carcinoma, did not appear to decreases from caffeine.
Coffee might also reduce the risk of other cancers.
“Studies found coffee consumption reduces the risks of prostate cancer, endometrial cancer and oral cancer,” Kirkpatrick said.
Cups of coffee needed: 3+ per day.
A hot cup of coffee on a cold day can make many people feel better. For women, that pick me up might actually decrease their risk of depression, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
A study of 50,739 women found that women who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee a day benefited from a 20 percent decrease in depression.
Cups of coffee needed: 4+ per day.
That rush you get after finishing a cup of coffee could improve your mood and also improve your cardiovascular health, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.
The study of 27 adults found that the caffeine in a cup of coffee significantly improved blood flow.
"This gives us a clue about how coffee may help improve cardiovascular health," said Masato Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher and a cardiologist and professor in the pharmacology department at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. "If we know how the positive effects of coffee work, it could lead to a new treatment strategy for cardiovascular disease in the future."
Cups of coffee needed: 1 five-ounce cup per day.
“From a brain perspective, we do see a benefit,” said Kirkpatrick. “One huge benefit is coffee reduces cognitive decline and dementia.”
Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life, according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Cups of coffee needed: 3 to 5 cups per day.
Preventing type 2 diabetes might require you to eat healthier, exercise more and drink more coffee.
A recent review of more than 1 million study participants (50,595 who had type 2 diabetes) found that those who drank two cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of developing the condition, according the European Journal of Nutrition.
Coffee drinkers experienced a 12-percent decreased risk for every two cups of caffeinated coffee a day. Decaf coffee was linked to an 11 percent decrease for every two cups of coffee. Researchers also noted that caffeine intake from any source was linked to a 14-percent decrease in diabetes risk for every 200 mg/day.
The review concluded that coffee and caffeine intake might significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Cups of coffee needed: 2+ per day. Risk reduction increases with additional cups.
Men hoping to avoid the 14th leading cause of death in America might want to increase their coffee intake.
Researchers observed the risk of Parkinson’s disease and coffee intake in 8,004 Japanese-American men, between the ages of 45 and 68. Those who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were far less likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease than those who drank no coffee, according to a study published in JAMA.
Despite other nutrients in coffee, the study concluded that the source of the decreased risk was actually caffeine.
Cups of coffee needed: 3 per day.
With all the benefits coffee appears to have on our health, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that coffee drinkers live longer.
An analysis of studies from 1995 to 2008 — including more than 5 million people — found that coffee drinkers were more likely to live longer than non-coffee drinkers, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Drinking four of five cups a day showed the greatest impact on longevity. Those who drank less than four cups a day, or more than six cups, had an increased risk of mortality.
The study found links between coffee drinking and decreased risks for these conditions: heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections.
The benefits of coffee were severely negated if the participant also smoked.
Other research also shows a benefit for preventing early death.
“Coffee consumptions helps to reduce the overall risk of early death,” said Kirkpatrick. “(Drink) three or more cups of coffee, regardless of caffeinated or decaffeinated.”
Cups of coffee needed: 4 to 5 per day.
Not only can drinking coffee provide several health benefits — but smelling it can, too.
A 2005 study on stressed and sleep-deprived lab rats tested the “beneficial effects of coffee aroma.” The rats that sniffed their coffee were observed to benefit from coffee’s antioxidants, relieving the stress related damage on their nerve cells and reducing the harmful effects of sleep deprivation.
The study, conducted at Seoul National University in South Korea, did not test the effect of smelling coffee on humans, but the possibility remains that a whiff of coffee could improve your brain function.
Cups of coffee needed: Zero to drink — 1 to smell!
Drinking alcohol might reverse a lot of the benefits caused by drinking coffee. This relationship also works conversely: Drinking coffee might reverse some of the problems caused by drinking alcohol, according to a study published in JAMA.
A total of 125,580 individuals were studied between 1978 and 1985. By 2001, 330 had been diagnosed with cirrhosis, including 199 cases due to alcohol. But those who drank coffee were 22 percent less likely to develop alcoholic cirrhosis for every daily cup drank.
The study authors ruled out caffeine as the primary mechanism because tea drinking was not associated with a reduced risk.
Cups of coffee needed: 1+ per day. Risk reduction increases with additional cups.
Most people know about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants. Fewer people might know that coffee also includes antioxidants and is America’s number one dietary source for the molecules, according to a 2005 study from the American Chemical Society.
Antioxidants have been linked to protection against heart disease and cancer. Other foods rich in antioxidants include: vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices and oils.
Cups of Coffee Needed: 1 to 2 cups per day.
Which profession drinks the most coffee?
I'm surprised that IT workers, such as programmers and web designers, weren't on this list. As someone who works on the web I pretty much drink coffee by the gallon.