Coffee is one of the most popular and widely consumed beverages in the world. This is no surprise to those who reach for their cup as soon as they roll out of bed.

Die-hard coffee drinkers can wax eloquent on the many things they love about their morning joe. From the caffeine energy boost to the delightful aroma and flavor, coffee inspires deep devotion.

It seems every few months a new study comes out either villainizing or touting the amazing benefits of coffee. One day it prevents aging, and then the next, this famous beverage is giving you anxiety. So which is it?

Health Benefits of Coffee


Thanks to our love affair with this rich brew, there is research aplenty to confidently boast of how good coffee is for you.

Moderate coffee consumption may:

  • Reduce feelings of fatigue and make you feel energetic. (1)
  • Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. (2)
  • Decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. (3)
  • Help you live longer by lowering your risk of chronic disease. (4)
  • Lower your risk of cancer. (5)
  • Provide antioxidant benefits to the body. (6)

Interestingly, many of these studies show that the health benefits go up as coffee intake increases. So, having just one cup a day doesn’t provide nearly the same benefit as four cups.

That being said, at a certain point, too much of a good thing becomes just plain too much. Consuming 400 mg of caffeine daily, or about four cups of rich brew is considered a safe limit. (7) At this level of intake, you get positive health benefits without negative side effects.

When Coffee Is Cause for Concern


Just like with anything you consume, you need to be smart about it. Hearing that coffee is good for you might sound like a free pass to pour another cup all day long. But, not so fast.

Because the caffeine in the rich brew is a stimulant, you want to use it wisely. Starting your day with several cups of joe can be great, but if you’re still drinking coffee at 4 pm there’s cause for concern.

Caffeine is a potent disrupter of your sleep cycle. Drinking a cup of coffee within 6 hours of going to bed may lead to a worse night’s sleep. (8)

When caffeine reduces your sleep quality, you will wake up fatigued, leading to more caffeine consumption to feel alert. This can lead to a cycle of poor sleep and more coffee. Over time, poor sleep quality is linked to adverse health consequences.

So, go ahead and drink your rich brew, but make sure you switch to decaf or just plain water by mid-afternoon at the latest.

Other potential side effects include feeling jittery, increased heart rate, anxiety, or feeling overstimulated. Everyone’s caffeine tolerance is different, so pay attention to how you feel.

Drink Up!


The happy truth is, coffee can be really good for you. So, if you’re a fan, enjoy it in moderation. Not too little, not too much.