Hey there! Yeah you–the one looking longingly at the espresso machine, pondering whether or not to have another cuppa. If you’re worried that you’ve been drinking slightly too much java lately, turns out you may be pulling a Goldilocks and drinking juuuust the right amount.
The coffee-is-good-for-you camp just raised its flag another notch thanks to a recent study by the National Cancer Institute, which suggests drinking three or more cups of the dark brew on the daily could actually protect your liver. Finally, an excuse for coffee lovers everywhere to drink copious amounts of the good stuff. Even better news? If you love coffee but worry about OD’ing on the caffeine, the study suggests that decaf coffee could produce the same results — although more testing is needed.
Researchers in the study looked at data from almost 30,000 people aged 20 years old or older. Those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had lower levels of enzymes usually linked to liver damage. The thought is that there is a chemical in coffee that produces a protective type layer around the liver. Previous studies have shown that drinking coffee also helps the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The bottom line? Perhaps it’s OK to percolate more than a couple of cups in the morning after all (even if you don’t wind up drinking all of your brew you can always find other uses for it). So go ahead and set that coffee maker the night before, and allow the smell of freshly brewed coffee beans to lure you out of bed tomorrow morning. Or treat yo-self to that Grande, XL vat the next time you’re feeling a little slouchy in the coffee line. Your liver might just thank you for it.