Drinking coffee helps to improve mood as daylight hours decrease: report

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Drinking coffee can lead to mood improvement as the daylight hours decrease, according to researchers. 

A pan-European survey funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee found that more than a quarter of adults experience depression and increased feelings of sadness as it gets closer to winter.

The survey included input from more than 5,000 adults from the U.K., Italy, Germany, Finland and Poland. Twenty-one percent of respondents became more anxious as the days grow darker, 24% found it harder to concentrate, 25% lost the motivation to exercise and 21% saw a dip in sports performance.

Roasted coffee beans and a cup filled with coffee
(Credit: iStock)

One in five adults included in the consumer survey said they drank coffee to improve their mood, with 29% reporting they drank coffee during this time to feel more energized and 21% saying coffee helped with concentration.

“There is evidence that coffee polyphenols may pass the blood-brain barrier, exert anti-neuroinflammatory effects and even promote neurogenesis, hence resulting in decreased risk of both cognitive and affective disorders,” University of Catania assistant professor Giuseppe Grosso said in a statement.

While a good diet and regular exercise are known to help improve mood, an examination of existing research reportedly suggests that 75 mg of caffeine every four hours can result in a pattern of sustained improvement of mood over the day. Further review showed that coffee aroma may enhance working memory and stimulate alertness. 

People also reported using caffeine for social aspects as well as increasing physical energy, mood improvement and other health benefits.

The agency notes that caffeine takes about 30 minutes to take effect and has a half-life of 5-6 hours, though it can remain in a person’s system much longer. 

Too much caffeine can cause severe disturbances to the heart and nervous system.

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