The Real Reason Coffee Cravings Are So Powerful

Coffee is like a lifeblood for oh so many people. According to Austin Woman, almost 8 out of every 10 Americans knock back at least 1 cup of joe a day. When considering the fact that coffee drinkers tend to have 2-3 cups a day, we're looking at almost 400 million coffees consumed every day in America alone. But why do such huge numbers apply to coffee more than other typical foods and beverages? It's because we crave coffee.

One of the main reasons for your coffee cravings is the drink's hormonal effect on your body. Our adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones like dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine-adrenaline, all of which coffee stimulates. In turn, it tells the adrenal gland that one more cup of joe might just be what the body needs. It also doesn't help that coffee contains amino acids, which are generally a good thing, but also play a pivotal role in delivering certain messages to your brain, specifically — "More coffee, please!" While those cravings come from hormonal stimulations, coffee dependency can be a lot more addictive for certain individuals.

Is coffee addiction in your genes?

According to Healthline, coffee has a number of positive effects. It's full of antioxidants that help protect our bodies from a plethora of conditions ranging from Parkinson's disease to Alzheimer's disease. However, it can create a rather unpleasant dependency amongst certain people more than others. In fact, there are studies showing that caffeine addiction can actually be as hereditary as balding or big ears. 

As reported by Time, there have actually been several studies conducted to determine whether caffeine addiction can be connected to genetics. Now, you can now blame your family for one more thing. One gene, known as PDSS2, relates directly to the regulation of metabolizing caffeine. People with lower levels of PDSS2, according to the study, have much higher caffeine tendencies, as they metabolize their coffee at a much faster rate, and therefore need that java much more often. Thanks, Mom.