Reaching for one of the best coffee makers (opens in new tab) during the winter months might not be such a bad idea. A recent consumer study by the Institute for Scientific Research on Coffee (opens in new tab) has found that drinking coffee during the winter months can improve mood and reduce the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The October 2021 survey of over 5,000 people across Europe, indicates that consumers drink coffee as a way to feel more energised, improve their mood, and to help with concentration. These findings indicate that drinking coffee helps during a time when over a quarter of adults throughout Europe experience signs of depression and anxiety.
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The non-profit Institute comprises six major European coffee companies, including Lavazza and Nestle, and has been researching the science of coffee and health since its founding in 1990. Most recently, the Institute has been exploring the effects of coffee on mental health.
Recent studies highlight how, as the daylight hours decrease, people turn to coffee to counteract the negative effect this has on their mood. Drinking coffee can improve memory and, according to The European Food Safety Authority, even increase motivation to exercise. As well as the energetic effects that caffeine has on the body, the anticipation of these effects also triggers an increase in mood and and a heightened attention span, according to recent findings.
The published study has stated that "one in five adults in the survey say they drink coffee to improve their mood, with research suggesting that 75mg of caffeine every four hours can result in a pattern of sustained improvement of mood over the day". But don't overdo it. Further research cited also found that too high a consumption of coffee could induce further anxiety.
There are a few caveats to note here, though. While the results could be extrapolated to indicate a trend in the overall population, the sample size of 5,000 is confined to only five European countries. The Institute has also stated their reports are unbiased, however the increase in sales and revenue that large coffee companies, such as Nestle, could gain also cannot be ignored.
This study seems to prove a correlation that we all knew to be common knowledge: a cup of coffee can help you get through the long work day, when the night seems to draw in before you travel home.
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