Coffee probably makes you happy simply because you love coffee. Or maybe that’s just why you think coffee makes you happy. According to new research, coffee most likely literally causes happiness.
Lars Kuchinke, a German researcher from Ruhr University, and his team surveyed 66 people for this study. They gave half of them 200mg of caffeine to consume, and then 30 minutes later, asked them to quickly look at a computer screen and determine whether or not they saw any words in a string of letters. The half who had coffee beforehand were 7% more accurate in picking out the positive words from the string than those who consumed a placebo.
Kuchinke has concluded that this happens because caffeine stimulates the part of the brain responsible for producing positive thoughts.
“Although caffeine improves some mental functions, our study shows this may be specific for certain types of stimuli, like only positive words,” Kuchinke said.
Consuming caffeine has been linked to more accurate and faster response times in simple tasks in other studies. It’s also been suggested that caffeine boosts production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked with creativity, impulsiveness, rewards, and addiction. Consequently, it makes sense that drinking coffee would increase the likelihood of having happier thoughts.
So the next time you are feeling a little down, why not try a cup of coffee to perk you up and turn that frown upside down? Need to stock up on some liquid positivity? We can help you with that.