Coffee is now the most consumed drink in the world, next only to water. We rely on it so much that many of us don’t consider ourselves fully functional, or even fully awake until we’ve had our cup of joe in the morning. Not to mention at noon, in the afternoon, after we get home from work, etc.

If you’re one of those who can’t live without coffee here’s good news; every cup you drink is good for you. Here’s how:

Coffee Fights Free Radicals

Free radicals form in our bodies as a result of our exposure to pollution and other harmful elements. We need antioxidants to neutralize those free radicals and coffee is a good source of this.

In particular, two key antioxidants can be found in coffee; chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. Cocoa and tea are also good sources of antioxidants, but cup-for-cup coffee contains more antioxidants than both beverages.

It Can Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

‍Some people immediately discount this benefit due to the observation coffee causes palpitations and an elevated heartbeat. However, unfiltered coffee contains the antioxidants cafestol and kahweol, these two help balance the cholesterol in the body. 

Also, coffee intake is associated with lower risks of heart failure and stroke as it allows the release of fatty acids from fatty tissue.

It Improves Alertness and Brain Performance

This should come as no surprise considering coffee stimulates the central nervous system. How does this work? Our brains have a chemical called adenosine, the purpose of this chemical is to tell the brain it is tired and needs rest after a certain period of use. The caffeine in coffee suppresses the actions of adenosine, temporarily increasing our alertness and thought processes for a while.

Studies also found that the antioxidants in coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, prevent dementia, and can be useful as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

It Improves Physical Performance

It’s not hard to imagine athletes guzzling sports drinks, but what about coffee? It was initially thought the caffeine in coffee helped to improve how oxygen is absorbed into the athlete’s body, but coffee helps the body in another way entirely. Drinking coffee temporarily heightens blood sugar, which can be useful for prolonged physical activity because sugar becomes a fuel source. Coffee is also good for athletes because it stimulates physical activity.

Coffee Protects Your Liver

Studies show that people who drink coffee have lower chances of abnormal liver function. One of these published in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that individuals who drank up to four cups of coffee daily were found to have reduced alcoholic liver syndrome by 20 percent.

How does coffee work for the liver? According to the British Liver Trust in a report published in June 2016 drinking coffee also lowers the risk of other liver conditions like fibrosis (scar tissue that builds up in the liver) and cirrhosis. Regular consumption of moderate amounts of coffee may also prevent liver cancer.

Now for the best news; while there is such a thing as too much coffee, you can have at least three up to five cups a day with no grave consequences to your body. So drink up!