Coffee Jolt: In the Bean or Your Head?

Sep 2, 2011 8:08 PM

"Coffee in the morning.. It's a must," Chico resident Lise Manning says. Bear Barber of Chico says, "I drink at least 3 cups of coffee a day." And they're not alone. About half of the country's population does too.

More than 50 percent of all Americans can't start their day off right, without a cup of coffee. So what exactly is it about that morning brew? Chico State student Peter Garcia says, "I just enjoy it.. I like the taste.." Barber says, "I'm much funnier on caffeine.. That's for sure."

But is it actually caffeine the body craves, or is it the expectation of the drink's stimulating effects?

Naked Lounge General Manager Mark Rozell says, "I definitely think the science and the data's there to show that it's actually in the bean."

Well, according to the results of a study done at the University of East London, the morning addiction to coffee may have more to do with the assumed benefits, than the caffeine itself. Garcia says, "There's a possibility in my mind that it could be placebo.. Caffeine affects everyone in different ways.."

During the study, one group of 44 volunteers was given a cup of regular coffee, but told it was decaffeinated. The other 44, were given decaf, but told it contained caffeine. Both groups were given tests. The findings? Those who actually had caffeine did better on a mental test, but didn't improve on their reaction times. Those who drank decaf, but thought it contained caffeine, did better on both tests..

Either way, more than 500 billion cups of coffee are served worldwide every year. Making the world go 'round. Rozell says, "The whole world.. We all rely on it so much."


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