A recent study found participants who drank six cups per day had a lower mortality risk than those who only drank four.

Jillian Kramer
August 28, 2017

According to a litany of studies, there is a bevy of benefits to making coffee your breakfast beverage of choice: it can keep your liver in tip-top shape, give your workout a boost, and even help you live longer. And new research suggests the more coffee you consume, the lower your risk of (a young) death.

The 10-year-long study, a part of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra Project in Pamplona, Spain, required nearly 20,000 middle-aged Mediterranean residents to complete a food frequency questionnaire meant to understand each participant's coffee consumption, lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and previous health conditions. Over the next ten years, researchers followed up with each participant once a year, gleaning mortality from participants themselves or, in the case of a death, from their families, postal authorities, and Spain's National Death Index. With that information, the researchers could estimate the likelihood of death as it related to baseline total coffee consumption.

In total, 337 participants died over the course of the study, but of those who remained alive for the duration, the researchers determined that participants who drank at least four cups of coffee each day had a 64 percent lower risk of mortality than participants who rarely or never drank coffee. What's more, participants who added another two cups of coffee a day to their diets—for a total of six cups—were able to reduce their risk of all-cause mortality by another 22 percent.

"Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people," concluded lead researcher Adela Navarro, M.D.

As we mentioned above, previous research showed that the simple act of drinking java can extend your life. In one study, participants who drank anywhere from one to six cups a week were reported to live longer, while a separate study showed that men and women who drank the most coffee also lived the longest. This new study seems to corroborate those findings by suggesting that it is indeed four-to-six daily cups of joe that made the most impact.

But if you can't chug coffee, there are other food-related ways you can try to increase your lifespan. Noshing on at least 10 grams of nuts each day can lower your mortality risk, one study showed. Another study suggests that sniffing your food before you eat it can lead to a longer life. (Restricting your calories could also lend you a few years, but that doesn't sound like fun.) The more veggies you eat, the longer you'll likely live, another study showed. And according to another study, cutting back on dairy won't hurt either, so maybe skip the latte and stick with espresso.