Your Morning Cup of Coffee Really Does Make You Happier
I think most of us have heard that old Folger’s jingle (and have probably had it stuck in our heads a time or two), “The best part of wakin’ up, is Folger’s in your cup.” Although it’s directly linked to Folger’s brand, this little song rings true as far as people finding joy in their morning cup of coffee. 64% of Americans drink coffee daily, but why is that? Read on to find out! In this blog, I’ll be discussing 3 reasons why your morning cup of coffee actually boosts your happiness.
1. Just the aroma of coffee reduces stress levels
A research study was conducted on sleep deprived lab rats, to determine how their stress levels reacted when they were just exposed to the smell of coffee. Without getting too science-y, the researchers did brain scans on the stressed rats who were exposed to the smell of coffee and those who were not. The brain scans of the stressed rats who smelled the coffee showed changes in the brain that were protective to the effects of stress. These protective effects were not present in the brain scans of the stressed rats who did not smell the coffee. Moral of the story, if you’re stressed due to sleep deprivation, go brew a nice cup of coffee and be sure to give it a good whiff as you’re sipping.
2. Coffee increases your energy levels
We all know that burst of energy we get after those first few sips of coffee. Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant. After you drink the coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and makes its way to the brain. Once in the brain, caffeine blocks adenosine from binding to receptors. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter, which is just a fancy term for a chemical messenger. Drowsiness is the result of adenosine binding to these receptors. To sum it up, caffeine from the coffee swoops in and kicks drowsiness to the curb, which is why you feel more energized after drinking coffee!
3. Drinking coffee can reduce depression
There are a few reasons behind this. In the brain, caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine, which is another neurotransmitter. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of euphoria. Another reason is that coffee contains antioxidants. These antioxidants work in various ways throughout the body to prevent or repair damage caused by stress and other factors.
All in all, not only does coffee actually make us happier by releasing chemical messengers in the brain, but it contains antioxidants which are good for us. I hope this blog has deepened your love for your morning cup of coffee, and if you haven’t drank your coffee yet, you’re on the way to make some now.
Written by Madeline Edge, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern.