To all you coffee fanatics who’ve spent years trying to kick the craving, it turns out you might not need to give up your beloved morning beverage after all. A study published Monday by the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, found that people who drink 2-5 cups of coffee a day are less likely to die from chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
The study analyzed data collected from over 200,000 individuals who were asked about their coffee drinking habits every four years over a period of about 30 years. The researchers took into account individual factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and exercise as well.
Somewhat surprisingly, the research indicates that the benefits of drinking coffee come from caffeinated and decaffeinated brews alike, meaning the health impact isn’t coming from the caffeine alone. In a press release, first author Ming Ding said the bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation, but that more research is needed to fully understand how coffee is working in the body.
The study also points out that highly caffeinated drinks aren’t suitable for everyone (a caffeinated toddler isn’t fun for anyone) and that the benefits from drinking coffee aren’t felt if you’re adding sweeteners, creams, and extra syrups to your morning cup.
So, the good news: You can have your coffee and drink it too. The bad news: No, you really can’t get away with drinking a venti Starbucks peppermint mocha frappuccino every morning.