I'm Officially Done Defending My Coffee Addiction Because Science Is on My Side

Is Coffee Healthy?

As someone with a demonstrated interest in wellness, people always seem to be surprised when they learn that I drink coffee. ("I always forget that you're a coffee person," a co-worker muses, as I inhale my third cold brew of the day. "It just seems like you're too healthy for that.")

A few years ago, I'd tend to agree—while I was never willing to give up my java cold turkey, I used to make it a habit to "detox" down to one cup per day from my usual four. Even now, I recognize that it isn't exactly productive to be addicted to caffeine, nor is it helping my sleeping habits (though I try to cut off my consumption by noon every day). But as research continues to bolster coffee not just as an okay thing to have but as an actual health food, I've felt less of a need to actively scale back. And now I have two more studies in my caffeine-addled corner.

Both studies (which were each published in the Annals of Internal Medicine) were the largest of their kind, monitoring hundreds of thousands of participants across diverse ethnic groups over the course of 15 years. One was conducted in the U.S., while the other was in Europe. But both came to the same conclusion: Coffee drinkers had a lower mortality rate than non-coffee drinkers, and those who had a substantial amount of coffee per day (three or more cups) also had a lower risk of conditions like stroke, heart disease, and digestive issues.

So we can (sort of) officially add "a longer life" to coffee's ever-growing list of purported benefits: We already knew that its high antioxidant content is great for staving off aging, for example, and that it can help us power through a workout. I'll take this all to mean that it's essentially the elixir of youth—so yes, I will have that fourth cold brew.

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