Everyone knows that coffee stimulates the spirit. As soon as the nectar passes our lips, our brain becomes alert, our vision becomes sharper, and our fatigue disappears.
According to French novelist Honoré de Balzac, when this coffee enters the stomach, there is an immediate uproar. Ideas begin to move like Grand Army battalions on the battlefield.”
Caffeine, a psychoactive substance that alters our mood and behavior, is the primary component of coffee. Caffeine molecules resemble adenosine molecules, which accumulate in the brain as we stay awake longer. And because caffeine resembles adenosine, it can inhibit receptors and trick the brain into staying awake.
Scientists have conducted numerous studies on coffee and caffeine to determine its effect on health and behavior due to its widespread consumption. Here are five of the lesser-known discoveries they’ve made.
Coffee increases expenditures
If you have a coffee habit, you will spend more money on coffee. In addition, researchers have discovered that shopping while caffeinated can affect the items purchased and the amount spent.
As customers entered the store, researchers from the University of South Florida offered them regular coffee, decaf coffee, or water. Those who consumed the coffee spent approximately 50 percent more money and bought nearly 30 percent more items than those who consumed a non-caffeinated beverage. In addition, coffee drinkers made more impulse purchases.
Additional research confirms that caffeine can influence fiscal decision-making. In a study of gamblers, coffee consumption was linked to riskier wagering. These results demonstrate that caffeine increases impulsivity.
Even the temperature of coffee can have an effect on altruism. John Bargh, a psychologist at Yale University, led a study in which participants chose between giving a gift to a friend or keeping it for themselves. Those who held a warm therapeutic pad were more generous and gave the gift to others, whereas those who held a cold pad kept it for themselves.
Coffee facilitates collaboration.
Coffee is known to improve mood, and researchers have discovered that caffeine-infused teams collaborate more effectively. A study conducted at the Ohio State University discovered that groups who consumed coffee prior to discussing a controversial topic rated their team’s performance higher than those who consumed decaf.
Those who consumed caffeine during the discussion spoke more, had an easier time staying on topic, and expressed a willingness to work with their group again, compared to those who did not consume caffeine.
Researchers attribute this collaborative atmosphere to coffee’s effect on alertness. It may also involve the effect caffeine has been shown to have on problem-solving, which could have also contributed to more productive discussions. In one study, participants who took a caffeine pill generated more ideas than those who took a placebo.