Is there anything more satisfying than that first sip of coffee in the morning? Whether you’re a latte drinker or you take yours black, there’s no question that coffee is energizing and unbelievably delicious. Plus, that smell. It’s unreal.
We could go on and on about how great coffee tastes, but let’s be real. You already know that. So in honor of everyone’s favorite hot beverage, here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about your morning cup of coffee.
1. We drink over 500 billion cups of coffee every year worldwide.
Hey, people love their coffee. And their lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos — 14 billion of those cups are Italian espresso coffees.
2. If you’re a woman who drinks coffee, you may be at lower risk for depression.
A study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that the risk of depression was 20 percent lower among women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day. And decaf doesn’t cut it — the study found that women drinking decaf coffee, tea, soft drinks and other less caffeinated drinks weren’t protected against depression.
3. “Wake up and smell the coffee” is a real thing.
Just the smell of coffee is enough to wake you up, according to a 2008 study conducted by So Han-Seok Seo of Seoul National University. So if you’re the type of person who already has your coffee brewing before you wake up, it could be helping you get out of bed.
4. It could improve erectile dysfunction.
If you’re a guy who drinks the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee per day, we’ve got good news for you. According to new research conducted at the the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, men who drank between 85 and 170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42 percent less likely to suffer from ED.
5. Dark roast coffee has less caffeine than light roast coffee …
Although it has a bolder taste and color, dark roast coffee actually has less caffeine than light roast coffee. Caffeine is burned off during the roast process, according to NPR, so if you like the taste of dark roast, great — just know it has a little less caffeine than its lighter counterpart..
6. … And your summer coffee may give you less of a jolt.
We know, we know. Iced coffee is delicious, and we don’t blame you for wanting to drink it all summer. But if you’re drinking cold brew (not to be confused with plain old iced coffee, which is just hot coffee poured over ice), you’ll get less caffeine out of the deal. As Time notes, Starbucks’ cold brew has 165 mg of caffeine, while the same size cup of dark roast has 330 mg. So before you order, check your brew.
7. You should be drinking your morning cup around 10 a.m.
If you rely on a cup of joe to get you out of bed in the morning, we don’t blame you. But because cortisol (the hormone associated with both stress and waking up the body) levels peak right after you wake up, if you want to get the most of the caffeine in your coffee, wait a while.
“Cortisol levels do indeed increase about 50 percent right after you wake up, regardless of the time,” an AsapScience video explains. “Science says, wait at least an hour to get your cup of joe and your body will be optimally ready to go.”
8. Coffee lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
People who drink three to five cups of coffee have 20 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to research presented at the 2014 Alzheimer Europe Annual Congress.
“Coffee is a very popular beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and I’m pleased to know that moderate, lifelong consumption can have a beneficial effect,” Iva Holmerova, vice chairperson of Alzheimer Europe, said in a press release, according to Medical Daily.
Bonus: Alzheimer’s isn’t where it ends. Additional studies have found that drinking the same amount of coffee lowers the risk for heart attack and Type 2 diabetes.
9. Coffee shops are everywhere, and more are on the way.
In fact, they’re the fastest growing niche in the restaurant business, according to Business Insider, with a seven percent annual growth rate.
10. There’s probably a lot more fair trade coffee around than you think.
The fair trade coffee industry exists in order to provide growers with better and conditions and higher pay, and fair trade laws require coffee importers and growers to have a direct relationship. Knowing these facts makes drinking fair trade coffee ideal, and luckily it’s pretty accessible — coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts both carry it.
11. Coffee can help fuel your workout.