If you’re like many of us, the first thing you do when you wake up is turn on the coffee maker. You probably do this before you shower, put in your contacts, or brush your grimy-ass teeth. There’s a reason they make novelty mugs that implore others not to interact with us before we’ve had a chance to ingest our first cup of joe. Many of us can’t get into work mode without at least one (or seven) cup(s) of coffee. Well, coffee guzzling friends, there’s a new caffeine-related study you should be aware of. Don’t worry, there’s nobody telling us to stop drinking coffee (although those monsters definitely exist). There is, however, a new study that says we should be adding a little cocoa into our morning cup of joe. That’s right, throw some chocolate into that java. You’ll be happy you did.
If you’re a person who enjoys a café mocha, you’ll definitely enjoy the findings from a new Clarkson University study. According to the study, mixing caffeine and chocolate is a really good idea. The researchers discovered that when the two are paired together, drinkers are more attentive, motivated, and even have more energy. On top of that, the combination can lower anxiety and help with fatigue. This is especially helpful for people who have anxiety about completing work.
That’s like killing two beans with one shot (of espresso). Whatever the hell that means.
Clarkson researcher Ali Boolani studied the effects of the pairing. She was assisted by scientists from the University of Georgia. The year long double-blind study tested subjects who drank different forms of cocoa and coffee, sometimes together and other times on their own. After drink, say, a cup of brewed cocoa or cocoa with caffeine, the subjects were tested on their cognitive abilities, mood and energy. “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention,” Boolani told Science Daily. See: don’t ever let any of your nosey co-workers tell you that you’re weird for melting a whole candy bar in your morning cup of coffee. Science says it’s okay.
Not surprisingly, caffeine on its own actually increased anxiety in the participants. “This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects — a good reason to drink mocha lattes.” The tests also proved that mixing cocoa and caffeine helped subjects improve their attention to detail. This was proven when they were asked to watch a screen with a constant rotation of letters. They were told to buzz when certain letters appeared on screen. “The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” Boolani said.
There’s no disputing science. That is, until another study comes out that completely disputes all of these findings (or reminds us that the amount of sugar needed to make cocoa palatable negates its positive effects). In the meantime, we’re going to order our coffees with extra chocolate. Not only will they be sweet and full of that caffeine that our bodies crave (and pretty much need at this point), but everyone else can feel good because we’ll be much less anxious and irritable. That’s definitely not a bad thing. Science told us to. Plus, even if we don’t feel any of these positive affects, at least drinking coffee will help us live forever.