And it's good news if you are something of a caffeine fiend, as two cups per day could actually be helping you to live longer, according to new research.
Increased life expectancy
The study was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology. It analysed the ages and causes of death of more than 450,000 people, along with dietary records, which included coffee intake.
Researchers found that drinking coffee played a role in reducing the risk of all-cause mortality, "irrespective of age, overweight status, alcohol drinking, smoking status and caffeine content of coffee".
Moderate coffee consumption, which could range between two and five cups per day, “was associated with reduced all-cause and cause-specific mortality, compared to no coffee consumption”.
Coffee consumption was also associated with reducing the risk of both developing and dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease, as well as increasing life expectancy.
Coffee and mortality
The research was conducted to examine the association between coffee and mortality 'in various sub-populations by characteristics of subjects, such as ageing, obesity and various other lifestyle factors which impact mortality.
The examination of the health benefits of coffee is one that has been widely assessed, with a similar study by Imperial College London and the International Agency for Research on Cancer finding that participants with the highest consumption of coffee had a lower risk of all-causes of death.
Similarly, a study from the US found that participants who consumed a cup of coffee per day were 12 per cent less likely to die compared to those who didn't drink coffee.
In the past, coffee consumption has been attributed to slow growth of prostate cancer, stunting growth, overall improved heart health and a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
Commenting on the most recent findings, Astrid Nehlig, research director at France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told The Sunday Times, "It is difficult to calculate, but my feeling is that drinking coffee possibly adds another couple of years to your life."
Increased focus and alertness are credited as being partly the reason.