Did you know that the average American drinks about three 9-oz cups of coffee per day?  This makes coffee one of the most popular morning (and not only) drinks in the United States.
Today, there are tons of different coffee varieties and types. You can taste new coffee flavors from different parts of the world, brewed and served in innovative ways.
This article will guide you through the health benefits of coffee consumption, as well as the health risks that come with excess coffee intake.
Let’s get started!
Why can coffee be good for you?
Pure coffee is low in calories (only 1-2kcal per 100 ml/ 3.4 oz) and has noticeable amounts of macronutrients :
These compounds are mainly associated with the health benefits of moderate coffee consumption, such as reduced risk of disease development and inflammation. 
Health benefits of coffee
Before diving into the health benefits of moderate coffee intake, let’s see how many cups of coffee are safe to drink per day.
Some of the health benefits associated with controlled coffee consumption are increased longevity, improved heart health, reduced risk of cancer and chronic diseases, improved physical performance, mental health support, and increased resting metabolism.
Evidence suggests that drinking 3 cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and increase life longevity. These effects are seen when coffee drinkers (consuming caffeinated or decaf beverages) are compared to non-coffee drinkers. 
Drinking 3 cups of coffee per day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 19% in healthy individuals. Furthermore, the same amount of the beverage may decrease the death risk of stroke by 30%. 
Nonetheless, no association between coffee intake and gastric, colorectal, colon, rectal, ovarian, thyroid, breast, pancreatic, oesophageal, or laryngeal cancers is evidenced.
What is more, it is still unclear how exactly coffee protects the body from cancer development. 
Reduced risk of disease development
Evidence suggests that regular and controlled coffee consumption could reduce the risk of disease development.  Coffee intake was found to potentially play a role in the prevention of the following diseases:
- Liver issues
- Gallstone disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Kidney disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cognitive disorders
Improved physical performance
Drinking coffee may improve endurance and physical performance in people performing long-duration workouts or activities. 
Coffee may also improve mental health. Drinking moderate amounts of the beverage could reduce the risk of depression and cognitive disorders. Furthermore, studies show that drinking 1 cup of coffee per day may result in a 13% lower risk of suicide. 
Drinking caffeinated coffee may increase the daily energy expenditure of healthy adults with 4-5%, stimulate fat oxidation (by 10-16%), and lead to reduced food intake during the day. Caffeine may also prevent a decrease in resting metabolic rate during weight loss. 
What is more, moderate intake of caffeine could increase the resting metabolism by 10% on a daily basis. 
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Health risks of excess coffee consumption
Even though coffee may provide you with significant health benefits, consuming excess amounts of it may lead to different adverse effects.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, caffeine may stay in the body for a long time.  Only half of the consumed caffeine is eliminated after 3-5 hours, and the rest can remain in the body for about 8 hours. So if you are caffeine sensitive, limit consumption to morning only to improve sleep quality.
- The risk of coffee consumption to adults with hypertension is related to the fact that the beverage may increase the total and LDL cholesterol (also known as bad cholesterol) levels and triglycerides. And high cholesterol is a significant factor for the development of hypertension. 
- For women, the safe coffee consumption is set at maximum 5 cups, with no more than 400 mg of caffeine.  However, if you are pregnant, cutting caffeine to a minimum is the way to go. Consult your dietitian or healthcare provider about the effects of caffeine on pregnancy.
- Another issue with coffee consumption is that often people add different flavorings: cream, sugar, sweet syrups, caramel, etc. These additives are not only high in calories, but also packed with added sugars and saturated fats. In that sense, drinking flavored coffee may lead to increased calorie intake and spikes in blood sugar levels. This could lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes development in the long term.
- Furthermore, if you are prone to heartburn, you may want to consider reducing your coffee intake. The beverage may worsen heartburn symptoms and switching to decaf is not the answer. Studies have found that decaffeinated coffee may increase the stomach acid production even more, leading to more pronounced symptoms. 
- Last but not least- medicines. Evidence suggests that caffeine may interact with some drugs (e.g., thyroid and depression drugs). If you are taking daily medicines, ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider whether you should change your coffee consumption. 
What to do if drinking coffee makes you experience adverse effects and unpleasant symptoms? Find a substitute!
If the caffeine is the problem, you can switch to decaf coffee options or reach for a beverage with lower caffeine content- like black or green tea.
Another option could be chicory root coffee. It is caffeine-free, the taste is similar to regular coffee, yet it’s slightly nuttier.