Good news coffee lovers (and Starbucks investors): A new study shows that drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help keep you alive longer, reports NBCNews. The study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, tracked 171,616 people over seven years who regularly drank coffee.
It found that those who drank between 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of death than those who drank no coffee each day. And not just by a little bit either: The study found that those daily coffee drinkers were between 16 and 21% less likely to die during the seven years than non-drinkers—that’s true even of those who added sugar to their coffee.
However, the study’s authors conceded that it may not be the coffee itself leading to a longer life. The coffee could be associated with higher socioeconomic status—those who can afford up to four cups a day probably can afford better healthcare and more time for exercise. This is not to say the coffee itself isn’t causing the increased health benefits, but researchers just aren’t sure yet.
This isn’t the first time coffee consumption has been associated with better health. A study from 2017 found that a “higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death in African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites.”