If really believe you need a cup of coffee to wake up in the morning, you might have to rethink that.
New research by Monash University and the University of Toronto has shown that the positive effects you get from coffee – like stimulation and focus – can be derived without actually drinking it.
Rather, if you’re experiencing all the sensations associated with coffee like sight, smell and sound, you’ll get the same buzz, according to the researchers.
“As long as individuals see a connection between coffee and [cognitive] arousal, whatever its origin may be, mere exposure to coffee-related cues might trigger arousal in and of themselves without ingesting any form of caffeine,” said Monash Business School senior lecturer Eugene Chan.
“Smelling coffee gives rise to the beverage’s psychoactive, arousing effects. This is because the brains of habitual coffee consumers are conditioned to respond to coffee in certain ways,” he said.
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So does this mean that simply being in or around a cafe can perk you up? Well, according to the research, yes.
“Walking past your favourite café, smelling the odours of coffee grounds, or even witnessing coffee-related cues in the form of advertising can trigger the chemical receptors in our body enough for us to obtain the same arousal sensations without consumption,” Chan said.
There is already research out there that suggests the creative boosts you get has more to do with the cafe than the caffeine (it’s all about changing up your environment).
And if you want to make the most out of your caffeine, there is indeed a smarter way to consume your coffee (don’t drink it before 10am and don’t bog it down with sugar).
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