Coffee Makes It Easier to Be Alive—Science Says So
This is the time of winter when weather is most unpredictable. What will the weather be like this week? Will there be a snow squall, a bomb cyclone, a deep freeze that threatens the pipes, or a bright sunny 70-degree day this week? Perhaps all three, you never know.
What I do know is that regardless of what the weather holds, if there is bright sunshine, everything feels better (as long as it's not stultifyingly hot). About 5% of the people in the United States experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months, when the sun sets as early as 4 pm on the darkest December days.
Winter is easy to romanticize because of the holidays and the festive décor, but the day-to-day reality can seem bleak. Icy mornings give way to gray days that seamlessly melt into frigid darkness well before dinnertime.
How Coffee Helps Beat the Winter Blues
Enter coffee. Coffee is like sunshine for the body. First, there’s the uplifting effect of the caffeine, which gets into the body, rushes to the brain, and blocks adenosine receptors--- adenosine is the neurotransmitter that causes drowsiness. Due to adenosine blockage, coffee pumps up energy and alertness.
In addition, the caffeine in coffee improves brain function by opening up airways and increasing oxygenation in the bloodstream, all throughout the body. That’s why coffee at workplaces tends to be free, plentiful, and popular.
And coffee decreases depression and the risk of suicide. Results from a 10-year study, the Nurses’ Health Study, tracked roughly 86,000 nurses’ coffee-drinking over the observation period. Over the 10-year period, those who drank coffee were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
What Does That Mean for Everyday Life in 2022?
The fact that data shows that coffee improves mood only confirms a fact that people have known since coffee drinking became a thing, several hundred years ago. Coffee makes you more alert and productive and can increase focus and an overall sense of well-being.
It is a good feeling to drink coffee with others---to gather around the coffeemaker like a central campfire. Although I love working remotely, I kind of miss the communal, industrial Keurig and all of the free coffee (and tea & hot chocolate) to brew in it. Fortunately, we all have the power to create powerful coffee-drinking experiences---so let's get ready to get OUT and drink lots of coffee. Enjoy!