If you are a coffee fan, you would agree that drinking coffee is one of the most delightful experiences a person gets to have every day. The moment you taste the toasted deliciousness of coffee, everything around you slows down, and you feel completely immersed in the pleasant aroma. Simply put, sipping coffee at the start of the day is incredibly satisfying, not to mention joyful. That said, despite being so enjoyable and popular, coffee seems to be quite mysterious since not much is known about its properties that make it so pleasing.
If you were to ask even the most fervent coffee lovers why coffee makes people happy, they wouldn’t have an answer for you, or at least a scientific one. With that in mind, we decided to share research-based theories behind coffee’s gratifying properties.
The Scent of Coffee Reduces Stress
First things first, that intoxicating aroma of coffee you love so much alone can reduce your stress levels, especially after a night of little to no sleep. Sleep deprivation is as common as maybe headaches. Research shows that 35.2% of Americans sleep less than the recommended 7 hours at night, which makes them sleep-deprived.
Moreover, it is estimated that at least half of the American population complains about feeling sleepy during the day more than three days a week. These figures are enough to conclude that functioning on little sleep is a widely-adopted practice.
Naturally, when people don’t sleep as per their body’s requirements, they feel stressed during the day. That’s where coffee becomes the hero and saves the day (literally). According to an experiment conducted on sleep-deprived rats, exposure to the aroma of coffee can calm the brain and better the mood.
In the said experiment, rats that hadn’t slept enough were exposed to the scent of coffee, and then brain scans were done. The images revealed that the rats who breathed in the coffee aroma got relaxed, while those who didn’t have exposure to coffee remained agitated.
Long story short, coffee indeed reduces stress and enhances the mood, and it must be noted that we are not even talking about the beans or beverage; we are currently discussing only the scent of coffee. That goes to show that coffee is that friend who always makes you smile.
Coffee Facilitates Social Interactions
One of the reasons coffee makes a person happy is its sneaky ability to bring people together. How? Here is how.
Typically when we get our morning cup of coffee, we either do so at a café or make our own at the office. Either way, we have to be in a communal space where we get the chance to interact with other people. Due to this, we are less likely to feel anxious about work at the beginning of the day.
Let’s say you go to the coffee counter at your workplace to get your second cup of coffee, and you bump into an acquaintance whom you last saw at an official event. You both chit-chat for a bit and may even drink your coffees together before getting back to work. Such quick, unexpected interactions can have a positive impact on a person’s spirit.
Coffee Freshens Up the Mind
Coffee is loaded with caffeine that chases away drowsiness, making you feel fresh. The human brain produces a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which binds itself to adenosine receptors. Once the connection between these two is established, our cognitive function slows down, and we become dull. This means if a person doesn’t want to feel sleepy, the adenosine in their brain must not attach itself to its receptors, which is exactly what caffeine does!
When you drink coffee, the adenosine in your mind binds to caffeine instead of adenosine receptors. Due to this, you feel energized and much more alert.
Another simpler explanation as to why coffee freshens people up is
The caffeine in coffee reacts with neurotransmitters in the brain, causing the pituitary gland to release certain hormones that, in turn, fire up our adrenal gland. As a result, adrenaline begins to course through our body, making us fresh.
Simply put, coffee has the chemical that alerts the mind and chases away the morning grogginess.
Coffee Reduces Depression
As unfortunate as it is, depression is a prevalent mental health problem all over the world, and America is no different. In fact, the United States of America is reported to have the second-highest rate of depression globally after Ukraine.
Furthermore, according to research, 21.0 million American adults suffer from at least one depressive episode. All that is to say, a significantly large number of people are plagued by depressing thoughts that leave them in despair. However, there is some hope for those who drink coffee regularly.
There are two scientific explanations behind the theory that coffee reduces depression.
Coffee Produces Dopamine in the Brain
People can have depression due to multiple reasons. Some may develop the condition because of their environment, which causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, while others may suffer from depression-causing chemical imbalance due to physiological reasons. Either way, one thing remains the same in both cases; a shortage of feel-good hormones in mind.
Naturally, when you don’t have sufficient dopamine, you are bound to feel gloomy. For this reason, psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants as those medicines make up for the lack of feel-good hormones in the brain. Coffee can do the same! Of course, it may not do so (stimulate the production of dopamine) as much as medication does; it certainly makes a significant difference.
Experiments have revealed that people who drink coffee are 20% less likely to become depressed. Moreover, it prevents individuals with suicidal tendencies from committing suicide. That’s right! Coffee drinkers are 53% less likely to kill themselves. All that happens because drinking coffee results in a boost of dopamine in mind.
Coffee Is Full Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are known to fix neuron or cell damage in the body caused by stress. Since coffee is loaded with antioxidants, it considerably improves the drinker’s well-being.
To sum it up, coffee makes people happy because it stimulates the production of healthy compounds in the body and gives them a boost of energy!