We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup. -Jerry Seinfeld
Not that caffeine always works. As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that a single cup doesn’t quite have the same effect as it once did. Two cups are generally required of the morning now just to get me to the point where I’m not biting off heads and feeding small children to the lions. I can drink a cup of coffee with lunch and still have no problem taking a nap. Coffee after dinner? Absolutely! It takes more than one cup to keep me from passing out by 11. While not every body responds to caffeine exactly the same way there’s little question that our bodies adapt to regular caffeine intake and any deviation from that may cause unwanted side effects.
Heaven help the soul who comes between someone and their first cup of coffee on a Monday morning. I’ll admit to being grumpy of the morning, but I try to keep myself away from innocent bystanders at least until that first cup has kicked in. I’m fortunate, though, in that I can brew my own and be happy. Apparently, there are millions of people who can’t brew coffee and are forced to purchase that first cup. I’m sure you’ve seen the lines snaking around every coffee shop drive-thru, and Monday’s are the worst. I’m somewhat surprised that there aren’t more incidents of road rage on Mondays, but there seems to be little question that Western Civilization might crumble if everyone couldn’t get coffee on their way into work.
- Dopamine released from the caffeine in coffee is a mood booster, a 2013 study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting finds. Getting caffeine from other sugary sources does not have the same effect.
- A study published in American Journal of Epidemiology shows those who drink four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day cut their risk of Oral Cancer in half!
- Natural sources of caffeine, such as coffee, are what provide the antioxidants that aid in alertness and other health benefits. Artificial drinks such as soda and energy drinks do not provide the same benefits and can be dangerous to some health conditions.
- Coffee increases our recognition and reception of positive words, according to a German study, making it a little easier for us to get along with those perpetually friendly people who greet everyone with a smile.
- Recent reports show that caffeine from coffee may reduce allergic reactions due to caffeine’s ability to reduce the concentration of histamines that cause the body to respond negatively to a substance.
A lot of the negative stereotypes about caffeine in coffee, such as it increasing blood pressure and contributing to heart disease, have proven to be false. In fact, the health risks related to moderate caffeinated coffee consumption are extremely small, certainly much less than anything else you might pick up from that drive-thru window. You’re likely doing yourself, and the universe, a favor by having a cup or two.
So here’s to Monday morning coffee and the sanity that comes from being well caffeinated before having to actually deal with real people. Pour yourself another cup. Sit back. Take a few deep breaths. Everyone will thank you.