Many of us are coffee advocates, or at least know someone who might be. But would you go as far to say as a non-coffee drinker that you might have totally different personality traits those who are coffee drinkers? Well, a new study that was recently published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs has discovered that heavy coffee drinkers were more likely to exhibit traits of alexithymia — aka, difficulty identifying and describing their emotions. Additionally, those who did drink a lot of coffee were also more likely to have anxiety and be more sensitive as a whole, particularly when in a situation where they would be exposed to negative consequences of getting in trouble.
So what does this all mean exactly? Basically, if you have multiple cups of coffee a day, you are more prone to having trouble handling your emotions and expressing them accordingly. However, before you run off and schedule an appointment with your therapist, it’s important to note that this study used self-reporting methods and only included 106 participants. So, not everyone who drinks multiple cups of coffee a day needs to spend more time trying to identify their emotions more closely.
Following the results, another study was published in Current Neuropharmacology that noted that coffee is the most psychoactive, or mind-altering, drug in the world, and it can improve cognitive skills, which might help with that identifying-emotions problem. After water, coffee is the most widely consumed drink in the world with 1.6 billion cups being consumed every day, the study reported.
In yet another study published in the Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, it was found that 17 percent of Americans drink more than five cups of coffee every single day, and 1.5 percent of people in Ontario, Canada, drink more than 15 cups a day. That’s right, 15 cups of brew every single day. While the effects of coffee range depending on coffee type, how much you consume and of course, your own tolerance, the only negative personality trait associated with excessive coffee drinking displayed throughout the studies came after consuming 10 cups. According to the study, people who drink more than 10 cups of coffee a day are more likely (than the general population) to have some type of personality disorder.
Another new study conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria says that people who like their coffee black are more likely to be psychopathic or sadistic. The study ended up Surveying 1000 adults on their coffee preferences and conducted a range of personality tests based on prominent machiavellian personality types, like sadism, aggression or psychopathy for example. During the study, researchers found that a link between preference for bitter, darker coffee and psychopathic traits in an individuals personality was made. The study also concluded that people who tend to have a preference for milky or sugary coffee were more likely to have agreeable personality traits and were generally more kind and sympathetic.
While there seems to be some controversial negative effects of drinking coffee, the Mayo Clinic also reported that there are a number of health benefits to drinking a moderately large amount of coffee too, “including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function, and decrease the risk of depression.” Drinking coffee has also proven to be helpful when warding off crippling migraines for frequent sufferers.
While the study shows different traits based on coffee preference, it’s important not to judge someone so quickly because of it as of yet. Researchers urge that more research will be done on the topic, and that majority of consumers these days have a preference because of diet restrictions, upbringing or just simply because they like the taste of one option over the other.