A LITTLE MORNING JAVA can feel just as essential to a productive day as an hour at the gym. But that cup of Joe might not always be working to your advantage. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology suggests that contrary to caffeine-junkie beliefs, coffee can actually deflate your confidence and focus in high-pressure situations.

But that doesn’t mean you should abandon Starbucks just yet. As a slew of new studies show, coffee can be a very helpful stimulant when used the right way, and may actually do more for your performance outside of the office. Read on for eight things coffee does to your body, and how to best use it to your advantage.

1. Wards off cancer

Previously thought to be a possible carcinogen, the World Health Organization reversed its verdict and recently released a statement saying there’s no link between coffee and a greater likelihood of cancer. In fact, after reviewing more than 1,000 pieces of research, the organization found several studies estimate a 15% reduced risk of liver cancer for each cup of coffee consumed per day.