A morning caffeine fix might do more than perk you up – it could save your life.

Women who drink more than a cup of coffee a day can lower their risk of having a stroke by 25 per cent, research shows.

Those with little or no coffee intake, however, are more likely to suffer from the condition.

The findings are the latest to challenge a common belief that coffee is bad for people’s health.

Scientists stress they have yet to prove it reduces stroke risk, but their work could have major public health implications.

Researcher Dr Susanna Larsson, of the National Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, said coffee was one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world.

‘Therefore, even small health effects of substances in coffee may have large public health consequences,’ she said.

Although it is too soon to recommend coffee as a health drink, the findings should ease the minds of women concerned about drinking too much, added Dr Larsson.

‘Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy,’ she said.

‘In fact, increasing evidence indicates that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer and possibly stroke.’

Her team’s study followed the diet and health of nearly 35,000 women aged 49 to 83 over a decade.

It showed that those who reported drinking at least one cup a day had a 22 per cent to 25 per cent lower risk of stroke than those who drank less.

This could be because coffee reduces inflammation and improves insulin sensitivity, the team suggested.

It also contains anti-oxidants which is known to prevent disease.