Coffee lovers, rejoice! You can drink more coffee!
In general, we humans do a lot of drinking. Water, tea, alcohol … even coffee.
Drinking alcohol regularly, unfortunately, has its side effects, one of them being severe liver damage from the amount of alcohol the organ has to process as we dump alcohol into our systems. For coffee and alcohol lovers alike, there’s good news and another reason to keep drinking coffee.
Multiple studies have suggested that drinking coffee has more health benefits than harms, but this one might surprise you. The study suggests that drinking two regular size cups of coffee every day reduces your risk of developing irreversible liver damage caused by drinking alcohol. Researchers analyzed previous studies related to coffee and alcohol consumption to come to this conclusion.
Liver damage can also be caused by being overweight, and these findings imply that drinking more coffee can also reduce the risk of developing severe liver problems from overeating and eating foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium.
Why is coffee so good for us?
Regular coffee consumption has been associated with an ever-growing list of health benefits, from fat-burning properties to energy-boosting effects to lowered stroke and type 2 diabetes risk. Caffeine is a natural substance that acts as an antidepressant and a physical performance enhancer. Is there anything it can’t do?
The only downside to drinking coffee regularly, it seems, is that you can get hooked on it pretty quickly if you’re not careful (you likely already knew this). Caffeine dependence can make you anxious and jittery, but if you watch how much you drink, it’s worth it.
How much coffee should we drink per day?
It’s recommended that you try to stick to a maximum of about 500 milligrams of caffeine per day, or the equivalent of about three to five cups. This is more than the above study concluded might be sufficient in lowering risk from irreversible liver damage. You’ll probably be fine if you drink a little more than that, but be mindful of how it affects you.
Coffee has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. Over time, drinking more of it might be associated with a decreased risk of developing cirrhosis caused by frequent alcohol consumption, among other factors. This does not mean, however, that drinking coffee alone “cancels out” poor lifestyle choices.
To reap the full benefits of protecting your liver with coffee, do your best to follow basic recommendations for food and alcohol consumption. Eat a diet with limited added sugars, saturated fat and sodium, and limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day (for women, that’s five fluid ounces of wine or 12 fluid ounces of beer).
Coffee is good for your liver. Treat yourself well and you won’t have to give up caffeine or alcohol if you don’t want to. It’s true that moderation is key, even in coffee’s case. The next time someone tries pointing a finger at you for drinking coffee every day, you have yet another reason to prove you’re in the right.