Any coffee drinker can recall their first impression of coffee; the grimaced face, the “eugheeww” expression, and the question, “Do I have to finish this?” However, you are a changed person! You love coffee now and even when you do not consume a cup of the delicious nectar, you still get a huge smile of relief just by breathing in the heavenly aroma. Why is this the case? How does coffee make us happy, even just by smelling it?
Scientists have known for a long time that coffee stimulates the sense of euphoria in the brain and creates that “happy place” for us. When we have that cup of coffee, our brain releases the dopamine; dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our brains that sends good vibes to the receptors. Coffee’s ability to release this chemical in our brain is a huge reason why java is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and can seem addictive for some.
Is that why we crave the stuff? We just want to feel good? Well, it is certainly a good force for wanting more coffee; people will make sure they have enough of it on hand to last them through vacations, a week, etc. When we see we are running low, we go and grab some more. In a study from Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that coffee can be addictive for people because it acts within the brain’s marijuana-esque neurotransmitter system.
When we start our coffee drinking habits, we tend to do so because we want that good feeling more than we need the focus it gives us. As we drink more and more of the stuff, our brains compensate by adjusting to the levels of caffeine; this way, we can focus with the effects of the coffee instead of becoming sleepless zombies and having tremors that are beyond our control. Due to the brain’s adjustments, we tend to need more and more coffee as our brain’s tolerance for the caffeine adjusts and the initial effects wear off. When we have our coffee, we find that the caffeine is stimulating the brain’s endogenous marijuana neurotransmitter setup; this created a new pleasure level when we have our morning coffee, this also makes us want more than just one cup a day.
Ultimately, coffee makes us feel good because it creates good vibes from all the pleasure centers of our brain. This elixir smells good, tastes good, and has been proven to even be good for us (when consumed in moderation).
Enjoy your coffee. Love it.