3 Science-Backed Benefits of Coffee on Writing
Is coffee as powerful as most writers claim it to be? Let’s find out
Coffee has always been a popular drink since its discovery. In Ethiopia where it originated from, coffee was consumed by monks to keep themselves awake during their meditative practices. When arrived in Europe, coffee gave birth to numerous coffee houses where heated intellectual debates took place. As it crossed the US borders, it replaced tea to become the most popular drink. And now Starbuck dominates the globe.
Although coffee around the world varies in kinds, tastes, and brewing methods, it all serves one holy job — keep you alert and focused to get your job done.
Perhaps, for this reason, many writers are coffee connoisseurs. Off the top of my head, I can certainly tell you one writer who couldn’t survive without coffee. Honore de Balzac, an acclaimed French writer who drank 50 cups of coffee per day to keep his creative flows going.
That too many writers have been inspired by the cup of Joe seems to reinforce the idea: “More caffeine = more words on the paper”. But is coffee as powerful as the evidence suggests? Well, according to research, it does. Here are 3 science-backed benefits of coffee on writing:
1. It gives you an energy boost
Adenosine is a chemical that slows down your brain activity and causes sleepiness. The harder you work during the day, the more adenosines will be produced to remind your brain to take a break.
Caffeine is similar to adenosine in structure, except it’s not adenosine. So when it takes the place of adenosine at the receptors, it won’t cause you to fall asleep.
Instead, you’ll feel a strong sense of alertness and focus. This is the main reason why we writers like coffee so much. It helps us to concentrate on our work. To bat away tiredness so that we can put more words on the page. However, when the effect wears out, we’ll experience the “double crash” as hundreds of lined-up adenosines take back their places at the receptors.
2. Coffee makes you feel good
Ever wonder why you’re addicted to a certain habit? Binge-watch a TV show until late at night. Scour the net for all the news about your favorite star. That’s because they make you feel good. Every time you hit the Youtube replay button. Every time we binge-watch TV shows. You get a little dopamine boost.
Coffee does the same thing to your body. It increases the dopamine level in your brain, which improves your mood. A review by A. Nehlig stated that taking in a repeated dose of 75mg caffeine every 4 hours can keep your mood high all day long. And while in a good mood, you’ll feel more pumped up to write. You become more confident with your writing. You can pour it all out without switching back and forth to fix.
But because coffee gives us a dopamine boost, it can be addictive. After a while consuming, you’ll find it harder to quit the coffee. You have to drink it every morning to avoid the crash. You must also increase the dose overtime. Otherwise, you can’t work. Otherwise, your writing doesn’t make sense. Otherwise, you don’t experience the euphoria that inspires your best work.
3. Coffee improves your brain function
Coffee can increase your mental performance. According to one study, consuming coffee in reasonable doses (from 200mg to 400mg) can lead to “enhanced real-world language processing and improved the rate of detecting errors in discourse”. Other findings suggest consuming coffee at small doses can have a positive impact on one’s memories.
Improved cognitive functions and memory can be quite helpful to a writer, especially during the editing process where a lot of alertness is required. However, this might go backfired on your creativity which flows better when you’re less tense.
Coffee does a great job in keeping a write alert and energetic to get his writing done. However, like anything else that brings goods to our body, moderation is key. Take a moderate amount of coffee every day to keep your mood high, but don’t overdose yourself.
Tell me, how many cups of coffee you drink every day? And how it does help your writing?