Coffee Might Make You Lazy, But Calming Effects More Important

Can you ‘get going’ in the morning without your morning coffee? If not, could that mean you might be a slacker when it comes to work?

According to a study out of the University of British Columbia, for people who are considered ‘slackers’, or those who commonly  produce minimal effort in their work lives, coffee might really help them boost daily productivity but for those who are typical high-paced workers, the stimulant will only dampen their effort.

The Huffington Post reports that this study which was published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, found “that “worker” rats, those that naturally wanted to work harder for greater rewards, were more likely to avoid hard work when given amphetamine or caffeine.  Only “slacker” rats, those that don’t rise to challenges and aim for small rewards, were motivated by the stimulants.”

While the takeaways about this story tend to circle around the fact that coffee might make people “lazy”, the part that I find interesting is the effect it has on those are too wound up. Maybe it’s not the “lazy” group who sees the most benefits, but the perhaps over-driven, hyped up “worker” group might get the most out of it. There have been several reports before (and accounts of personal experience) saying that coffee calms hyperactive kids. I have even seen this with my own daughter who lives with a very compromised endocrine and immune system which makes her hyperactive.

Of course, like any food or drink ingested, coffee will produce a different affect in each unique person. If it helps calm down kids or adults with ADHD, it’s worth noting because stimulants of any sort affect these people differently. If it helps improve those who tend to slack off and gives them that extra boost to get going, that’s important too. Even those who are not technically diagnosed with ADHD or any kind of hyper active disorder might see benefits, I know from myself , a typical over-scheduled mom who is doing a million different things at any given time and a type A personality, that a cup of coffee is like a treat and it definitely helps me calm down. I don’t know exactly how or why; I just know it works.

Coffee has actually been known to have some health benefits, and coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia, and have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes. In the end, if coffee makes you feel good and gives you an energy boost when you need it, go for it. If it helps soothe you on a frazzled day, then enjoy that, too. If it makes you feel too jittery, stay away from it. It’s all really about common sense and listening to your own body.

How does coffee make you feel? Do you let your kids drink coffee?

Image: iStock

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