Just in time for National Coffee Day: Women, Coffee and Depression Risks

How are you celebrating? Comment with your favorite cup of joe order and we might send you a $15 Starbuck’s gift card.

Happy National Coffee Day! Yes, there is such a thing, which I discovered early this morning as I found myself in the Starbucks drive-thru. We have quite the coffee culture here at Amoena so today had us celebrating.

National Coffee Day was first mentioned in 2005 – likely in an attempt to sell more coffee – and coincidentally, a recent study published this week shows that a rise in coffee intake may lower depression in women. So perhaps changing that Tall into a Grande (or Trenta?) may not be so bad after all.

First, a lesson in coffee history: According to legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats became hyperactive after eating the bright red cherries on a dark green leafed shrub.  He suspected that the bright red cherries were the cause of a particular euphoria in the goats and decided to try them himself.  The stimulating effect was then exploited by monks at a local monastery to stay awake during extended hours of prayer and distributed to other monasteries around the world.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, coffee plays a big part in our daily lives. Companies like Starbucks initiated the “meet me for coffee” trend and others have followed suit by offering their own premium coffees and coffee drinks like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme and even QuikTrip. But has all this coffee really helped women avoid depression?

According to a study that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine this week, women who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to become depressed and the risk went down with each cup they drank.

The study included more than 50,000 women between the ages of 30 and 55 who were regularly surveyed about their coffee consumption, health and lifestyle. At the start of the study, none of the women reported having depression symptoms (nor had a family history of depression) and over the next 10 years about 5% of the women were diagnosed with depression. Researchers found that drinking four cups of coffee a day helped to reduce this group’s risk of depression by 20% compared to women who drank little or no caffeinated coffee.

In a CNN.com article about the subject, researchers say the reasons they saw the risk lowered is not clear but could include:

  • The antioxidants in coffee may have these specific health benefits but even women who drank only decaf were no more or less likely to become depressed than the women who drank no coffee at all.
  • The caffeine might be responsible but there was not enough data available to determine if drinking caffeinated soda or tea would have the same effect. 82% of the women studied drank caffeinated coffee, while 16% drank caffeinated sodas and/or teas.
  • Some psychologists have even suggested that women who aren’t depressed may enjoy drinking coffee more than those with depression symptoms. The social aspect of the coffee-culture may fit in better with their lifestyle.

Of course, caffeine can be hurtful for some people and can have effects similar to an addictive drug, so one should consider how they react to caffeine before diving into a big cup of joe. Not to mention if your dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer or just living a life of wellness, you should discuss your caffeine intake with your physician.

Although we shouldn’t take this study lightly, having that second coffee break could be just the thing we need to celebrate our most favorite historical beverage – especially on National Coffee Day.

All this coffee talk is making me think it’s time for a Starbuck’s run! Write us a blog comment sharing your personal favorite Starbucks coffee order (or any other coffee-house order) and we’ll send the first 10 commenters a $15 Starbucks gift card. Mine? A tall, skinny latte…no foam.

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21 Responses to Just in time for National Coffee Day: Women, Coffee and Depression Risks

  1. Melissa says:

    I love a hot latte with frothy skim milk. It’s pure joy!

  2. Shan says:

    Hooray, Melissa! The first “winner” of a Starbucks card….look for an email so we can get your address. And I hope you enjoy that latte on Amoena!

  3. Serena Fisher says:

    Sadly, I suffer from Starbucks anxiety and only can enjoy a sugar free vanilla latte (decaf) when a kind soul orders for me. When I enter Starbucks I panic — the prices! the sizes! the choices! I am overwhelmed by decisions. The only purchases I can make on my own is to purchase bags of their holiday blend coffee for gifts. I need a support group!

  4. Ginny says:

    Anytime I’m in an airport with more than 30 min to spare….I treat myself to a skinny vanilla latte, no foam. YUM!! Of course I tell myself it’s good for me with all that milk :)

  5. Lori Fields says:

    I LOVE Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha! It’s YUMMY!

  6. Shan says:

    Serena, you are so funny! And guess what? I’m going to send you a gift card so you can buy away with no guilt! Enjoy!

  7. Shan says:

    Ginny, I think that’s a great way to think about it! And for some reason, Starbuck’s tastes particularly good while waiting for ar flight. Check your email for a request for your address so we can send you your gift card!

  8. Shan says:

    Oh goodness, Lori….me, too! I think I gained 10 lbs. of Peppermint Mochas last holiday season – and then found out I could pretty much have them year-round! Check your email for a request for your address so we can send you a gift card for lots and lots of Peppermint Mochas on Amoena!

  9. Alisha says:

    I can not stay away from the Starbucks White Hot Chocolate! Gets me ready for Fall. YUMMM

  10. Shan says:

    That does sound good, Alisha! I haven’t tried that one yet – might need to be my afternoon snack! :) Look for an email from me so I can get your address and send you a $15 Starbucks card so you can enjoy more yummy drinks on Amoena!

  11. karen randolph says:

    My weakness comes around about this time of year when the Pumpkin Spice comes knocking back on my door… Starbucks has officially gotten the Pumpkin Spice syrup back in and it is ON!!! I want it in my Iced Coffee and in my Frappucinnos and in my Lattes and they can even squeeze it on my bagels… Let’s put it EVERYWHERE!!! I can’t get enough of the stuff!!!

  12. Winnie says:

    I love Starbuck’s Caramel Machiato with whip cream! It’s the adult version of hot chocolate! Yummy!

  13. Karen Randolph says:

    I just love this time of year @ Starbucks when the Pumpkin Spice comes back into town… It’s my all time favorite,,, I get my Iced coffee’s , my frappuccino’s and my latte’s made with it! It’s hard to beat a drink made with Pumpkin Spice syrup,,, I think I could just probably drink the syrup by itself,,, hehehaha Maybe you could say I’m a little addicted to Starbuck’s and their Pumpkin Spice, thank’s for listening!

  14. Karen Randolph says:

    I don’t mean to keep repeating myself, but my reply keeps vanishing,,, I just simply adore this time of year when Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice,,, I am absolutely in love with it! I get in in my Iced Coffee, my Frappuccinos, and in my Lattes and I would even just get some syrup in a to go cup if they would sell me some! I’m sure I could find some thing creative to do with it when I got home, maybe put it on some pancakes or waffles… I just love Pumpkin Spice, if you haven’t tried it, please give it a try! Thanks for listening!

  15. Lee says:

    That’s OK, Karen, we have to approve them before they appear, so that’s why you didn’t see them. :) You’re in the “top ten,” so no worries! I love the Pumpkin Spice latte, too, it’s amazing. AND WOW, would it be good in pancakes!! Excellent idea!

  16. Shan says:

    Karen, I’m with you! Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere this time of year. And to echo Lee, yes, sorry for the “comment” confusion – we have to moderate comments before they “go live” and with a busy weekend, etc. I wasn’t able to do that, but Lee has helped me out this morning! Look for an email from me so I can get your address to send you a $15 Starbucks gift card so you can enjoy Pumpkin Spice drinks on Amoena!

  17. Shan says:

    Thanks, Winnie! I’ve heard people ordering this drink but have never tried it myself. Today might be a good day to do that! Look for an email from me so I can get your address to send you a $15 Starbucks gift card for more Caramel Machiato’s on Amoena!

  18. Lori Fields says:

    Thank you Shan. I can’t wait to get my Peppermint Mocha! Love my pin too!!

  19. Claudia says:

    I am kind of high maintenance. My favorite is a skinny, stirred, soy cinnamon dolce latte. Yum!

  20. Shan says:

    Wow, Claudia! That is quite a mouthful, indeed! And….I’m going to send you a $15 Starbucks gift card to use for many more of this drink (which is too long for me to mention!) 😉 Look for an email from me!

  21. Claudia says:

    Wow! That’s so nice– thx!

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