Studies have long touted the many health benefits of drinking coffee -- everything from boosting your workout to ultimately helping you live longer. But officials at the world's foremost authority on cancer risk have found something coffee won't do: give you cancer.
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer announced Wednesday that its researchers found no evidence linking coffee consumption to an increased risk of cancer, according to a report by Bloomberg. That's certainly great news to enjoy with your afternoon pick-me-up, but the development also comes with a slightly alarming warning that might make you rethink how you drink coffee and other hot beverages.
While the WHO found that drinking coffee itself likely doesn't pose a higher risk of cancer, the organization said evidence suggests that drinking scalding hot liquids -- coffee, tea, etc. -- potentially poses a cancer risk. As explained in a report by TIME, drinking beverages 149 degrees Fahrenheit (which, by the way, is cooler than your typical take-out coffee) or hotter was linked to a higher risk of esophagus cancer. In other words, such hot beverages are now considered as "probably carcinogenic." Whoa.
“These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible,” Dr. Christopher Wild, IARC Director, said in a press release.
The good news, according to the Bloomberg report, is that most people enjoy drinking their coffee around 140 degrees. In fact, researchers told the publication the new findings probably don't warrant changing you eating and drinking habits, and pointed to smoking and alcohol consumption as way bigger causes of cancer.
But all things considered, it probably won't hurt to let your coffee cool off before gulping it. Really, you won't burn you tongue, too. Also: iced coffee.