Perk Up

5 ways drinking coffee can improve your life

Coffee drinkers don’t need to be convinced to keep drinking.

They may even paradoxically associate caffeine’s bitterness with the good feelings it brings.

Tim Bieber/Photodisc/Getty Images

But if you’re worried it’s doing more harm than good, here are 5 ways drinking coffee may improve your life:

5. Decrease health risks

Drinking up to four cups of coffee per day has been found to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.

vgajic/E+/Getty Images

Elena Pejchinova/Moment/Getty Images

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee have the same protective effect, according to meta-analyses.

4. Lower prostate cancer risk

Studies show that coffee may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 16 percent.

Tetra Images/Tetra images/Getty Images

Longhua Liao/Moment/Getty Images

Scientists identified two specific chemicals that may be responsible: kahweol acetate and cafestol.

3. Longer life

Coffee drinkers have a 12 percent lower risk of death from cancer, diabetes, and stroke as well as heart, respiratory, and kidney diseases than non-drinkers.

simarik/E+/Getty Images

© eleonora galli/Moment/Getty Images

The effect was found in caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting that caffeine isn't to thank.

2. Better group work outcomes

Coffee could make you a better team player, and it seems to be due to caffeine boosting alertness.


BraunS/E+/Getty Images

People who drank caffeinated coffee talked more in group settings and rated the group's performance higher than decaf drinkers.

1. Fewer poor sleep side effects

Coffee can of course make you feel less tired, and research suggests that it could fight the effects of sleep loss.

sanjeri/E+/Getty Images

Study participants were allowed only five hours of sleep per night, and those who drank coffee suffered fewer cognitive drawbacks — but only for the first four days.

It's not all good news:

Drinking coffee before breakfast after a bad night’s sleep could cause a spike in blood glucose, which may be harmful if it’s done habitually.

Jordan Lye/Moment/Getty Images

Die-hard coffee drinkers should be aware that drinking more than six cups per day is linked to joint diseases and obesity risk.

ExperienceInteriors/E+/Getty Images

Some studies suggest that coffee could be bad for your arteries, but others have refuted that claim.

To get the most from your cup of joe:

Experts recommend drinking up to four cups of filtered (drip, not espresso or French press) coffee per day, starting after breakfast.

Fatma Secil Karademir/E+/Getty Images

Read more stories on food here.