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I have been a coffee drinker since my sophomore year of college. Finals were coming and I needed an edge to get me through some late night study sessions. A few people I knew told me that it provided the boost they needed so I figured I would give it a try. I ran out and bought one of those little 4 cup coffee makers, sat it on top of my dresser and brewed my first cup. I didn’t like it. I added a little sugar and that made it better, but not much. But I had to admit, I could feel a little bit more mental sharpness and stuck it out through finals week making a cup whenever I needed to fight of the Sandman.
Now here I am years later and I am an avid drinker if not an aficionado. And I enjoy it. There is nothing like that first sip of a nice dark roast first thing in the morning to get your eyes opened and start your day.
According to Wikipedia, the history of coffee dates all the way back to the 10th century. Apparently, Ethiopians have accounts of its use, but widespread drinking appeared in the 15th century when its fame spread to Yemen, Middle East and Northern Africa.
Coffee contains caffeine (in case you didn’t know) and that little ingredient is quite powerful. It blocks a neurotransmitter called adenosine which then allows levels of other beneficial neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine to increase. As a result of those two powerhouses your brain can now function in a peak state leading to faster reaction times, better focus, improved memory recall and better overall cognitive functioning. Energy levels rise and for many coffee can even elevate mood. In fact, Harvard University found that 4 or more cups a day lowered depression by 20%.
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