THE INC. LIFE

Science: Go Ahead, Drink That Extra Cup of Coffee

Your daily cup of java proves to be excellent for your longevity.

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BY Betsy Mikel - 11 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Concerned you're drinking too much coffee? Worry no more. Go ahead and drink up.

A new body of research finds your morning cup of joe -- and your afternoon trip to Starbucks -- may offer several benefits your health. Drinking coffee daily might even help you live longer. And it's safe to drink up to 32 ounces of the stuff a day, one study finds.

TIME's health and science writer Alice Park explored why the case for drinking coffee is stronger than ever. Though doctors have long warned about its negative effects on the body, new research presents a reason to shift your mindset about coffee. Instead of a bad-for-you vice, drinking coffee is beginning to seem more like a good-for-your-health habit.

These studies have concluded that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing diabetes, stroke and liver cancer than non-drinkers. Due in part to the antioxidants and chemicals contained in coffee beans, other research suggests that drinking coffee reduces inflammation and slows the aging process.

Where previous coffee studies went wrong

Previous studies found coffee could increase your risk of heart disease. There was just one big problem with how many of these studies were conducted.

These studies failed to consider if the heavy coffee drinkers also partook in other behaviors that negatively impacted their heart health. The researchers didn't control for other factors such as smoking, drinking and lack of exercise. Even if people who drank a lot of coffee had more heart-related issues, it wasn't fair to blame coffee alone.

"Recent research reveals that once the proper adjustments are made for confounding factors, coffee drinkers don't seem have a higher risk for heart problems or cancer than people who don't drink coffee," Park writes.

Drinking too much coffee is unlikely

One cup a day is fine. So is two or three. You can drink up to four 8-ounce cups of coffee without negative health consequences. But most people don't even drink that much and stick to just one cup a day.

If you're still on the fence about the health benefits of coffee, here are 11 great reasons with supporting evidence as to why you should drink more -- or start.