Can Coffee Really Improve Your Mood?
With the end of summer almost here, you know the holidays will be upon us in no time. For those who have a hard time during the winter months, maybe coffee can help. But can coffee really improve your mood? Let's find out.
Coffee seems to be one of the most researched substances on the planet. A quick search of coffee brings up pages and pages of various studies that have been conducted and observations that have been made. Much of the research on coffee is on how it affects those who drink it. From this research, we have learned that coffee does have some beneficial results. Finally, a European study showed that consuming 75mg of caffeine every four hours helped to improve mood throughout the day.
One of those beneficial results is a better mood. A 2020 report by a Harvard University researcher showed that those who drink coffee are less likely to be depressed compared to those who are not coffee drinkers. It is believed that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee may also be related to how caffeine blocks the brain from binding with depression and fatigue chemicals.
Testing is ongoing to learn more about the compounds that can be found in coffee and how those compounds affect humans. In the meantime, it appears coffee blocks the chemical adenosine from binding with the receptors in the brain. Adenosine is the chemical that causes depression and fatigue. Coffee may even help those with bipolar disorder.
Even the anticipation of drinking coffee has a positive effect on mood. Isn't that interesting?
Trust the Gut
Over the past few years, we have started to learn more about how gut health affects the overall health of people. Studies have shown that gut health has an effect on mental health. Coffee prebiotics feed the gut microorganisms helping to create more fatty acids and neurotransmitters. These are both beneficial to mental health.
How Much Coffee?
So, how much coffee does one need to drink to reap the benefits to their mental health? A study in Korea shows that at least two cups of coffee per day lowered self-reported depression by 32%. A Spanish study showed that four or more cups of coffee decreased clinically diagnosed depression by 20%. Drinking six to seven cups of coffee per day might increase life expectancy, according to an American study.
Coffee may have a plethora of health benefits, both physical and mental, but we are not doctors and the studies are still ongoing. Do not replace any doctor-prescribed medications with a cup of coffee. And be sure to talk to your doctor about any changes in diet or in mental status.