Find out the health benefits beyond why you should be drinking coffee.
Over 18,000 studies have looked at coffee use in the past few decades. Lately more and more are reporting real health benefits for coffee drinkers—but they must be balanced against the brew's possible bitter effects, especially in higher, caffeinated doses. An ideal "dose" of java is hard to determine, since people’s perceptions of "a cup of coffee" vary as widely as coffee-mug sizes do. But the good news is that many of the benefits are associated with around two to four (8-ounce) cups a day—"and that’s what most Americans drink anyway," notes Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a coffee expert at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Some intriguing findings: