Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Coffee Adicts Research Shows Sensitivity to Smell Links to Craving

May 14, 2019 01:27 PM EDT

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
(Photo : Image by 旭刚 史 from Pixabay)

A new study published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology has discovered that regular coffee drinkers can sniff out even tiny amounts of coffee and are faster at recognizing the aroma, compared to non-coffee drinkers.

While it may go beyond being sensitive to the odor of coffee and quicker to identify it, habitual coffee drinkers may crave coffee more, and their ability to smell it will get better. It is the first time evidence has been found to prove that coffee addicts are more sensitive to the smell of coffee.

It is possible for the study to open the door to potential new ways of using aversion therapy to treat people addicted to substances with a distinct small such as tobacco and cannabis. Dr. Lorenzo Stafford, an olfactory expert in the Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth led the research.

According to Stafford, they discovered the higher the caffeine use, the quicker an individual recognized the odor of coffee. Also, they found that those higher caffeine users were able to detect the smell of a heavily diluted coffee chemical at much lower concentrations, and this ability increased with their level of craving. So, the more they desired caffeine, the better their sense of smell for coffee.

Based on two experiments, the research first reviewed 62 men and women divided into those who never drank anything containing caffeine; those who consumed moderate amount (70 0 250mg, equivalent to 1 - 3.5 cups of instant coffee a day): and those who consumed a high amount (300mg, equivalent to 4 or more cups of instant coffee a day).

They blindfolded each person and to test their sensitivity to the smell of coffee, the team asked them to differentiate small amounts of the coffee odor from odor blanks which have no smell. For the odor recognition test, they asked the participants to identify as quickly as possible the scent of real coffee and separately, the essential oil of lavender. Individuals who drank the most coffee were able to identify coffee at weaker concentrations and were faster to identify the odor.

The second test involved 32 people that did not take part in the first experiment. They divided them into those who drink coffee and those who do not, and they tested them using the same odor detection test for coffee odor, and with a separate test for control using a non-food odor.

Once more, the outcomes showed that the caffeine consumers were more sensitive to the coffee odor but critically did not differ in sensitivity to the non-food odor.

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