May 23, 2015 12:01 AM EDT
In terms of what we desire throughout the average day we wish for coffee slightly less than sex and a bit more than alcohol. Regular drinkers don’t really get a boost from coffee, they just get their fix. In fact when you haven’t had your coffee everything with caffeine tastes better. The strategic use of coffee can make you more persuasive. The smell of coffee actually makes people nicer to one another.
The smell of coffee makes women more likely to give out their phone number. Anything that gets the adrenaline flowing increases sexual arousal so coffee and a roller coaster might be an excellent date idea. When things get stressful coffee is a good idea for women but not for men. Coffee has also been shown to reduce depression in women. Pregnant women definitely should not drink it. (Alcohol — in modest amounts — during pregnancy can actually be a good thing.)
Coffee and cigarettes make you smarter but lung cancer sucks so better stick to coffee and donuts, another combo which boosts brainpower. The caffeine and glucose one-two punch can work in many forms, actually: Red Bull boosts cognitive performance too. Just looking at Red Bull can be an enhancer.
Coffee helped produce some of the great works of literature: ask Balzac. Then again, if you want to be creative maybe you don’t need more coffee: you’re more creative when you’re exhausted. Or maybe you want to drink something else: you’re more creative when you’re drunk too. (Adding Red Bull to Vodka doesn’t make you function better but it will make you think you do.) To make sure you’re productive after a nap drink a cup of coffee right before laying down. (Caffeine takes about 20-30 minutes to kick in.) This is your brain on coffee.
Most importantly, what’s the best way to use caffeine? Got you covered: a neuroscientist gives you all the details you need. Join over 180,000 readers and get my free weekly email update here. This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
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