A Cup of Happiness

Coffee – would you be able to live without it? Well, I have to confess that I am thoroughly addicted.  Seriously, I think I would marry coffee, if coffee were a person. It is that good. It is life changing.

So, what happens when you drink a cup of coffee?

Well, as you all probably know, coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine (C8H10N4O2) is quickly taken up into your body and you should feel its lovely effects in about 15 minutes. Hopefully, you should start to feel more energised and your mind should become a bit more attentive.

One of the reasons why this occurs is because caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it can enhance the neural networks in your brain that cause you to feel alert or awake. It even can stimulate some parts of the brain responsible for pleasure. So, maybe, that is why I want to marry coffee…

Image from: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7117/7523488962_6dab1b7e36_z.jpg Licensed under Creative Commons

What have scientists recently discovered about coffee? 

Well, there are many studies investigating the effects of caffeine. Some indicate that coffee may be bad for you. But lets not focus on the negatives – here are some studies that show how coffee can improve your life!

  1. It literally can make you happier: A study by researchers at Harvard University found that women who drank two or three cups of coffee have a lower risk of depression compared to non-coffee drinkers. Just recently, another study by Harvard School of Public Health, found that drinking 2 to 4 cups of coffee a day could cause a significant reduction in suicide risk.
  2. It might make you live longer: In 2012, researchers found that women drinking at least 2 cups of coffee a day reduced their chance of dying by 15%.
  3. It improves your driving: Another study found that drivers who drank 200mg of caffeine made significantly less “lane violations” than those who did not take caffeine.  
  4. It might even help you loose weight: There is evidence that if you drink at least 50mg of caffeine you can increase your resting energy expenditure in 30 minutes. This is supposed to last for up to 4 hours!
  5. It improves your ability to exercise:  Researches investigated the effects of giving 100mg of caffeine to professional cyclists and found that having caffeine delayed fatigue.
Image from: Ihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/klugi/3834683156/sizes/m/in/photolist-6QRKGQ-e7i3B-bvipgQ/ Licensed under Creative Commons

So, when you drink your next coffee, you might be doing your body a world of good. 

References:

Belza A, Toubro S, Astrup A. The effect of caffeine, green tea and tyrosine on thermogenesis and energy intake. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial on the Internet]. (2009, Jan), [cited August 12, 2013]; 63(1): 57-64. Available from: Academic Search Complete.

Freedman N, Park Y, Abnet C, Hollenbeck A, Sinha R. Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality. The New England Journal Of Medicine [serial on the Internet]. (2012, May 17), [cited August 12, 2013]; 366(20): 1891-1904. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text.

Hogervorst E, Bandelow S, Schmitt J, Jentjens R, Oliveira M, Gleeson M, et al. Caffeine improves physical and cognitive performance during exhaustive exercise. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise [serial on the Internet]. (2008, Oct), [cited August 12, 2013]; 40(10): 1841-1851. Available from: CINAHL.

Lucas M, O’Reilly E, Pan A, Mirzaei F, Willett W, Ascherio A, et al. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide: Results from three prospective cohorts of American adults. The World Journal Of Biological Psychiatry: The Official Journal Of The World Federation Of Societies Of Biological Psychiatry [serial on the Internet]. (2013, July 2), [cited August 12, 2013]; Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text.

Philip P, Taillard J, Moore N, Delord S, Valtat C, Sagaspe P: The effects of coffee and napping on nighttime highway driving: a randomized trial . Ann Intern Med 144 785-791, 2006.


10 Responses to “A Cup of Happiness”

  1. rfaulk says:

    I love coffee too!! Interesting facts. I believe that no long term study of coffee has proven to have significant ill effects. It won’t be long before ‘living’ is a recognised medical disorder too. It’s not the beans, it’s beings..

  2. jennguin says:

    yep. as of the fifth addition it’s a ‘mental disorder’

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/45897/caffeine-withdrawal-dsm-5-declares-it-a-mental-disorder

    I believe both ‘caffeine intoxication’ and ‘caffeine withdrawal’ are now recognized medical disorders.

  3. katied says:

    Thanks for the comment Charlotte, the only official looking source relating to the brew of the coffee I could find is this: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/coffee
    Not too belpful but it also is a bit more balanced than my blog post 🙂

  4. katied says:

    Wow, thanks for the comment. I did not know that! Is that a new addition to the DSM 5?

  5. jennguin says:

    The DSM (from the American Psychological Association) has added caffeine addiction and withdrawl to the official list of recognized disorders. fyi.

  6. Deepika says:

    Everything in moderation is okay. I like how you’ve written about the positives of caffeine 🙂
    I love my coffee!

  7. Charlotte Velik says:

    Coffee seems to get such a bad rap in health reports, so it’s refreshing to hear about all the benefits. I wonder if these benefits depend on the quality of the brew or the type of coffee…

  8. Tessa Low says:

    This is amazing! Coffee really is a gift from the gods. I pray to Xiuhtecuhtli with every sip of coffee I take.

  9. amdixon says:

    While this blog post does focus on the positives of coffee we mustn’t forget that coffee or rather caffeine is in fact very close to being considered a poison.
    To be classified as a poison a substance must have a LD50 (lethal dose 50%) of less than 100 mg/kg Caffeines LD50 is 192 mg/kg
    So we must ask ourselves what kind of long term damage is it doing to our bodies with a cup or two or even three a day.

    A very interesting documentary shown on SBS recently covered this, called ‘Pain, Pus and Poison’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLOVjBmioUk

    Skip ahead to 28:40 for an explanation of LD50 and where caffeine sits in comparison to alcohol and other poisons.

  10. salmaha says:

    I am actually addicted to coffee,and this information convinced me more about my addiction,but it worth noting that consuming loots off coffee could cause some health problems

    one of the funniest quotes about coffee is:
    “Without my morning coffee I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat “”
    ~Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Coffee Cantata

    thanks for sharing