The Maximum Amount Of Coffee You Should Drink Per Day Might Surprise You

If you're a true coffee lover, no matter how many bags of beans you own, in the end, the coffee owns you, does it not? Because in the morning, it's "but first, coffee," which provides you with exactly enough of a jolt to make it to the mid-morning cup. Then, when the afternoon slump starts to take over, you're singing, "Hello darkness, my old friend," all over again. Your java intake may inspire judgment or concern — sometimes, both — from people who are used to you walking around with a mug in your hand... and clearly haven't discovered for themselves the pleasures of those aromatic dark beans. Perhaps, though, by the time you're rinsing out your mug for a third or fourth time, you briefly consider that this caffeine addiction could be getting out of hand.

Good news for moderate coffee drinkers: you actually can have up to five cups on the daily before you need to worry about heart health risks, according to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Australian researchers analyzing almost 350,000 individuals found that drinking six or more coffees a day increases a person's risk of heart disease by as much as 22 percent. But people who drank one to two cups of coffee per day, meanwhile, had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who either stuck with decaf or avoided coffee altogether.

People who drink coffee may live longer, study finds

Multiple studies provide plenty of ammunition for your debate with the coffee haters; java is actually good for you in moderation, experts say. "Coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the human diet — yes, even over wine and tea," Vanessa M. Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN told Healthline. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine analyzing 180,000 participants across multiple ethnic groups found an 18 percent reduction in the rate of mortality among people who drank three cups of coffee a day — regular or decaf. "We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of this study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in a statement. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start."

That being said, coffee isn't the best choice for everyone. "Coffee drinking can lead to increased jitters, tremors, and heart rate, making an already anxious person more anxious," Tania Elliott, M.D., told Bustle. And too many coffee runs can lead to the runs, she noted, and may increase the risk of urinary incontinence. But if this doesn't sound like you — and you're not guzzling coffee by the pot — you should be able to continue enjoying coffee in good health. Bottoms up!