Coffee Break!

Early mornings call for coffee. Mid day pick me ups call for coffee. Long nights of studying call for coffee. And cute, artsy pictures most definitely call for coffee. From sipping pumpkin spice lattes for Snapchat to downing 5 cups a day to stay awake, coffee is such a large part of today’s society. Coffee came to America in the mid 1600’s and thus coffee shops began to appear. Tea had always been the preferred drink until it was being taxed too high for people to keep up with. Therefore, the Boston Tea Party switched America’s preference from tea to coffee, which brings us to where we are today.

There are always new studies coming out about coffee, most of them discrediting myths. Have you ever heard that coffee will stunt your growth, help you lose weight or even sober you up? While unfortunately none of these myths are true, there is a new study that just might explain your constant coffee craving…it’s genetic! Researchers are looking into a gene that may explain why some people drink more coffee than others.

coffee meme

A genetic variant called PDSS2 may be the reason why some people don’t drink as much coffee. In the study, they tested people’s DNA to look for the gene and then questioned them about their coffee drinking habits. The study found that people with the gene drank less coffee than people without this specific gene. Researchers believe that the gene affects how caffeine is metabolized in the body. People with the PDSS2 gene metabolize caffeine more slowly than people without the gene. Therefore, those without this gene need more coffee to feel that buzz because their bodies process the caffeine quickly. Surprisingly enough, this coffee gene is quite common.

This quick look into this specific PDSS2 coffee gene opens up several other discussions about food preference genes. By looking into other food specific genes, scientists may be able to determine why people don’t like certain foods or even why the most pickiest of eaters are the way that they are. If there was some way for people to know these facts about themselves, it may change their eating habits in a positive way. There are endless options when it comes to genetics just waiting to be uncovered!

If you are one who drinks several cups of coffee a day, don’t fret! It just may not be in your genes. If you are one who drinks little to no coffee, don’t fret! It just may be in your genes. Either way, genetics are genetics and they are not something we can easily change about ourselves. This shouldn’t discourage anyone to the point of “To drink another cup or to not drink another cup, that is the question!” In the end, we have to make it through the long day some how whether it’s by drinking one cup a day or ten!

5 thoughts on “Coffee Break!

  1. Summer A Carson

    This topic is very interesting! I hated coffee growing up and when I entered college I forced myself to start drinking it. I was drinking drinking coffee because I was desperate to not feel so tired and miserable all the time. I was also under the impression that coffee would be less harmful than other alternatives like sugary sodas and energy drinks. I have been in college for two years now and I still HATE coffee, so based off what your blog says… maybe it’s just in my genes. I must not have been blessed with the the coffee loving gene because after endless cups of coffee and training my body/ taste buds will not adjust. I have never heard of “A genetic variant called PDSS2” so I am glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I am most excited to share this information I learned with my friend who just can not comprehend why I hate coffee, so thanks!

  2. Chelsea Greenberg

    This is really interesting! Funny story- I’ve liked coffee since the age of three, seriously. Whenever me family and I would go out to eat, and the waiter or waitress would ask what we would want to drink, I always said coffee! I would drink my mom’s all the time. Needless to say, I depend heavily on coffee now. Right now my shirt even says “Sorry for what I said before my morning coffee”. The genetic aspect of metabolizing coffee is really interesting, and it made me think about the fact that my mom cannot drink coffee on an empty stomach, while my dad and I can. Maybe that has something to do with the genetics? Anyways, I really enjoyed your blog post, and </here is an article about how regular coffee drinkers can experience withdraw symptoms if they go without coffee.

    1. Monica Lynn Powell Post author

      I read the article you recommended and found it very interesting! My mom and sister are both avid coffee drinkers. When my mom doesn’t have her coffee, she gets intense migraines. My sister had to cut coffee out of her diet at one point and it messed her up so much, more than whatever made her change her diet! The article explains why that happens which is very interesting. I’ll definitely be sending this to my mom and sister so they can understand why this happens to them. Thanks!

  3. Abigail Reese

    So true! Growing up, I went through the Starbucks drive thru with my mom who loves coffee. She wouldn’t let me get caffeinated drinks until I was old enough but once that habit started, I never turned back. I am guilty of loving sugary coffee until more recently, I’ll drink plain coffee with some cream in it. Not going to lie though I do enjoy an occasional white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. Wow I can’t believe it’s genetic! My grandparents drink coffee every morning, as does my mom, as do I. At this point I could drink coffee at 10 pm and be asleep by 10:30. I’m guessing I don’t have the PDSS2 gene because I hardly am affected by coffee anymore. For the past 2 weeks, I have been making smoothies in the morning with lots of healthy ingredients and I must say, I feel better throughout the day as apposed to how I felt when I drank coffee every morning. Check out this article. I make my own smoothies using a Ninja single serve blender. My favorite combination is pineapple, kale, spinach, banana, blueberries, and strawberries! I highly recommended it over a cup of coffee.

  4. Anna Pearl Belinda

    I love this! My name is AP- hi, nice to meet you. So recently I started this weird mid-day coffee drinking routine where I wake up around 8:00 am, I go on with my day and I get done with my classes around 2:15, and I’m home at 3:00pm. Well now every time I get home at 3:00 I think, “Oh God I still have so much of the day to keep doing”, so I help myself to two cups of coffee. I don’t know if it’s unhealthy or not but I have heard plenty of tips that say things like, “An apple gives you the same amount of energy that a cup of coffee would so eat that instead!” I have never separated myself or compared/contrasted myself to others with my coffee drinking habits (I would say I’m a normal coffee drinker whatever that means). It would be really interesting to look more into the health benefits or possible detrimental health risks that drinking coffee has. The gene is really interesting and I definitely am curious now as to whether or not I have it- I’m sure you were probably wondering the same thing when you wrote this blog. What would be interesting to look into as well is if we really need to be drinking coffee because I know that coffee is such a huge money making industry (truly it’s massive), and if people didn’t need to be spending 5 dollars a day, sometimes multiple times a day on Starbucks drinks, then I really don’t think we should be wasting so much money on it (unless of course you simply like the taste). So I think it would be beneficial to look more into the health facts about drinking coffee and the affects it has on people’s lives! Great blog!

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