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Dopamine in Caffeine: Happiness is Found at the Bottom of Your Coffee Mug

By: Lourdes Hernandez

I grew up in South Florida, where Cuban cafeterias are more common in shopping centers than traditional coffee shops, and every gathering or family party ends with a round of cafecito for everyone. I’m not sure when I fell in love with coffee, but my upbringing definitely attributed to it.

Now, as a college student, I’ve become more aware of the fact that my peers seem to be just as fixated on all kinds of coffee.

So, this concept isn’t one I’m a stranger to. But I can’t help but notice that no matter where I am or who I talk to, everyone shares the same thought: “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.”

Walking through a university campus feels like I’m walking through a sea of people either clinging to their cup of joe like it’s a handheld life-support machine or hustling to the closest Starbucks or Dunkin’ to get their daily fix.

It’s a thought I’ve had more often – why do we as a society feel like we can’t start our day until an iced macchiato or a coconut milk latte touches our lips?

The internet is flooded with studies regarding the effects that coffee, mainly caffeine, has on our physical and mental states. After a bit of research, we learn caffeine causes an increase in dopamine – aka the feel-good neurotransmitter! According to studies, coffee has also been linked to possibly lowering the risk of developing depression and Alzheimer’s.

Aside from the (scientifically proven) happiness boost that comes from a good cup of coffee, it seems to be the health benefits are endless.

So, in that case, can you make mine a triple?

135 thoughts on “Dopamine in Caffeine: Happiness is Found at the Bottom of Your Coffee Mug

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