Somewhere, the java gods are dancing, tossing coffee beans like confetti.
Why? Because a new study shows what coffee addicts already intuitively knew: Coffee can lift your mood! The study—conducted by Harvard’s School of Public Health and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine—found that increased caffeinated coffee consumption is associated with a lower depression risk in women. (Holy Starbucks, the line is about to get even longer.)
The Harvard researchers studied 50,739 U.S. women of various ages, who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study. The women had no depression incidence at the start of the study, and the researchers measured their caffeine intake for a span of 24 years. Amazingly, women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 15 percent decrease in relative risk for depression, and those who guzzled at least four per day showed a whopping 20 percent decrease! (If you think you’d never drink that much, consider this: “Four cups” of coffee is equivalent to about two Grandes at Starbucks.)
And of course, coffee is no one-trick pony either. Beyond cheering up moody coffeehouse intellectuals, your cup of joe has a laundry list of other science-backed benefits. Stressed out? The caffeine in coffee can reduce your stress levels and improve memory and performance, especially if you’re female.
Catching some sun? It actually lowers your risk of sunlight-induced skin cancer. And, needless to say, anyone with a pulse knows how alert and focused a cup of coffee can make you feel. It’s even packed with good-for-you antioxidants—yes, please.
The question now is, how much does that venti, three-pump, no-foam vanilla coffee depress your wallet? It sniffles every time your barista announces the bill, the poor thing. Oh well, can’t cure everything at once, they say. So bottoms up!
MORE: Coffee vs Tea – Find Out Which Is Better for You