Research has shown that taking caffeine can result in a better mood, including feelings of happiness, sociability, well-being, and heightened energy.
But you may not get as many of these positive feelings from caffeine if you have a dependency on the stimulating chemical that 80 percent of Americans take every day. (That doesn't mean you can't be in a good mood if you have a caffeine dependency.)
Other studies saypeople who consume caffeine regularly get morebenefit in mood enhancement. That said, those who don't use caffeine regularly may see an improvement in physical ability or mental acuity when they take it occasionally.
But a CBS News article states: "Regular users build up a tolerance and may not experience the same positive effects; they need that morning caffeine infusion just to help overcome sleepiness and lethargy." .
Americans take between 200 and 300 mg of caffeine a day, or two to three cups of coffee, 4 or 5 sodas, or 5 to 8 Viter Energy Mints .
There are many other benefits to drinking coffee and taking caffeine besides mood enhancement that we will discuss below here in a minute.
Should you use caffeine only when you need it?
Say you have a big exam, a meeting at work, or an important basketball league game that you need to be at your maximum alertness for.
Caffeine can improve both mood and mental and physical performance and it can even help ward off depression.
Among daily caffeine consumers, much of the positive mood effect experienced with consumption of caffeine in the morning after overnight abstinence is due to suppression of low-grade withdrawal symptoms such as sleepiness and lethargy. Large caffeine doses (200 mg or greater) may produce negative mood effects.
But another, later study says taking caffeine throughout the day can improve mood, too. As CoffeeAndHealth.org said :
A review by A. Nehlig suggests that repeated administration of 75mg of caffeine (the equivalent of one cup of coffee) every 4 hours can result in a pattern of sustained improvement of mood over the day: however high intakes may be associated with an increase in tense arousal including anxiety, nervousness and jitteriness (i.e. feeling shaky or uneasy). A dose-related improvement in subjective measures of calmness and interest were found after consuming caffeine ...
As you can see, getting too much caffeine may result in anxiety or shakiness. As the old philosopher said, Moderation in all things.
And contrary to some research, CoffeeAndHealth.org reports:
Research also suggests that caffeine tends to have a more beneficial effect on habitual consumers’ moods (compared to non-consumers), but there are greater improvements in performance when drunk by non-consumers. It also seems that mood is not only modulated by caffeine itself but also by the expectation of having consumed caffeine, which improves mood together with attention.
So it depends which research you go by to determine whether you should consume caffeine daily or just take it when you need to improve your athletic or intellectual performance.
Sound advice: Do what feels right for you. Go by your own experience.
Caffeine reduces chance of depression
Regular caffeine consumption may result in less chance of getting clinical depression. CoffeeAndHealth.org reports that studies from Korea, Japan, Finland and the United States all found that caffeine may help ward off depression. From the article:
A study of 50,739 women (average age 63 years), part of the Nurses’ Health Study, suggested that women who consumed 2-3 or at least 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day were, respectively, 15% or 20% less likely to develop depression, compared to those who drank at most one cup of caffeinated coffee per week. The consumption of decaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk. This observational study suggests the possibility of a protective effect of caffeine on depression risk.
Note that it is caffeine that was observed to have warded off depression risk, not just coffee.
This video explores ways that coffee improves a person's mood.
If you don't want to drink coffee
If you need to get your caffeine but don't feel like you want to drink coffee, tea, or an energy drink, try Viter Energy Mints . If you're in a place where you can't easily make coffee or tea or don't want a lot of bathroom breaks, the caffeinated mints are just the ticket.
The mints are sugar-free and freshen the breath, plus they contain invigorating B vitamins. They deliver 40 mg of caffeine per mint.
In addition to the caffeine and B vitamins, Viter Energy Mints contain peppermint or other varieties of mint. We did a whole blog on peppermint  and found that it may:
Prevent irritable bowel syndrome
Alleviate cold and flu symptoms
Plus the mints taste great. Buy Viter Energy Mints at the link above or on our Amazon.com page .
Caffeine's many benefits
Which brings us to all the other ways that caffeine benefits people. Our Viter Energy Mints blog did a posting titled Evidence piles up that caffeine is good for us.
According to various experts, coffee or caffeine:
Reduces risk of heart disease, cancer and multiple sclerosis
Boosts semen production
Relieves sleep deprivation
Reduces the risk of kidney stones
Helps alleviate migraine headaches
Enhances the effect of over-the-counter painkillers
Prevents erectile dysfunction
Reduces suicide risk
Reduce the risk of dementia
Reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease
Some of these benefits are seen more with coffee than with caffeine alone.
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies