For many people, that first cup of coffee in the morning is exactly what they need to kick start their day. People who love their coffee often claim they can't function without it and rely on that morning jolt of caffeine to get themselves ready to take on the day. While caffeine does definitely act as a much-needed stimulant in the morning, a new study is proving that even just thinking about that first cup of joe may be exactly what you need to help improve your focus.
The study, published in Science Direct, found that those who link the idea of having a cup of coffee with being more alert and productive were actually more inclined to be so just at the mere exposure of coffee related cues. Oddly enough, the same didn't apply to tea drinkers. The research, led by Eugene Chan, a senior lecturer in the marketing department at Monash University, and Sam Maglio, associate professor of marketing and psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests that the mere idea of drinking coffee provides "the drinker with an immediate physiological “lift.”
Which means that when you find yourself rushing around in the morning and not able to stop for a coffee, or busy at your desk in the middle of the day with no time to run out for your mid-day caffeine fix, simply thinking about that delicious cup of coffee might give you the boost you need without actually having a coffee.
To test this theory the researchers used four different experiments involving online and laboratory tests that looked at cross-cultural diﬀerences in coﬀee’s meaning, self-reported arousal, physiological arousal, and moderation of arousal. They found that being around coffee cues was sometimes enough to help people focus better and be more productive, even if they didn't actually drink coffee.
The study points out that this research suggests that the connection between what we eat and drink goes deeper than we thought. "Our research adds to the literature documenting that the foods we eat and the beverages we drink do more than simply providing nutrition or pleasure. Mere exposure to or reminders of them can aﬀect how we think," the study states.