Drinking This 3 Times a Day Could Help You Live Longer, Study Finds

A new study champions the health benefits of this beloved beverage.

For those of us who aren't exactly "morning people," the day doesn't really start until we've enjoyed that first cup of coffee. And while you've been warned time and time again about the detrimental effects that jolt of joe can have on you, new research suggests that the drink has a couple of key benefits (and we're not just talking about the caffeine-induced kickstart that it provides). In fact, experts are now suggesting that a moderate intake of coffee each day may lead to lower mortality and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. For the full findings on the incredible power of coffee, read on, and for the one kind of java to avoid, check out If You Have This Coffee at Home, the FDA Says Get Rid of It Now.

For eight years, Italian researchers looked at 20,000 people's coffee intake.

Artist Making a Latte Most Expensive Things on the Planet

Published in The Journal of Nutrition, the study followed more than 20,000 participants in Italy, aged between 35 and 94 years of age, and measured their coffee intake over an eight-year period. Nobody involved had suffered from cardiovascular disease or cancer before taking part in the study. And for more on when to drink your daily cup of joe, check out The Worst Time to Drink Your Morning Coffee, Study Says.

They found that your coffee habit may be good for your heart and your longevity.

woman with a face mask and a coffee waiting for the train

The researchers found that by contrast with those who didn't consume coffee at all, "moderate consumption (3–4 cups/d)… was associated with lower risks of all-cause and, specifically, of CVD (cardio vascular disease) mortality."

This builds on another study published in The Journal of Nutrition in Jul. 2020 that observed that among older adults in Spain, those who stopped drinking coffee after a lifetime of normal consumption recorded a decline in health. However, it was unclear in that case whether the participants had experienced ill health because of cutting out coffee, or were not drinking it because they were ill. This latest research suggests the former.

Additionally, other studies have found that drinking more coffee is associated with a lower risk of cirrhosis, heart disease, and diabetes. And for more regular health news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

It's all because of one specific marker in coffee.

unground coffee bean up close

The researchers focused on one particular element present in the body—specifically a compound called N-terminal pro B–type natriuretic peptide, or NTproBNP for short. According to the United Kingdom's National Health Service advice, this is an "inactive peptide" released into the body when the walls of the heart are stretched or under pressure, and measured when doctors have concerns about a patient's cardiac health. However, in this study, the researchers also concluded that "NTproBNP likely mediates the relationship between coffee intake and all-cause mortality." And for more on the current health crisis, check out This Vitamin Deficiency Makes Your COVID Death Risk Soar, Study Says.

But hold off on the novelty flavor venti cappuccinos.

Espresso machine extracting coffee into tiny cups

One important factor to bear in mind is that while this study tracked patients who were consuming three to four cups of coffee per day, they were doing it Italian-style: "Coffee intake was standardized to a 30ml Italian espresso cup size." This is the normal volume of a single espresso, not a double.

By contrast, if your regular order is, say, a Grande Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, four of those will include 8 shots of espresso, 180 percent of your daily allowance of saturated fat, and 152 grams of sugar—so choose your order carefully. And for more on the latest health news, check out 4 Easy Things You Can Do to Live a Longer Life, According to Doctors.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
Filed Under