Coffee: enjoyable habit or addiction?

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For most people, drinking coffee is an enjoyable habit because they enjoy it and it wakes them up, but also because of social aspects.

Is coffee addictive? About half of coffee drinkers think so, but are they right? To what extent can you become dependent on caffeine, and whether that is a problem? Some coffee drinkers experience mild complaints (such as headaches) when they suddenly stop drinking coffee. But can coffee, therefore, be called addictive? 

Due to the combination of taste, the slightly stimulating properties, and the social aspects, drinking coffee is a pleasant habit for many people. Although you sometimes hear people talk about a “coffee addiction,” according to the current criteria, this is untrue.

When are you addicted?

For something to be called an addiction, there must be ‘problematic substance use;’ you use more than you would like. You cannot reduce or stop. Not even if your work or relationship suffers. You also have the desire to use it throughout the day. If you don’t use it, you will get withdrawal symptoms. You don’t feel well physically and mentally. 

Caffeine or disrupted routine?

Some coffee drinkers suffer from mild headaches when they suddenly stop drinking coffee; this usually passes quickly. And if you taper off slowly, you don’t have to worry about anything. 

It needs to be clarified how this happens. More research needs to be done into this. Behavior may also play a role in caffeine dependence. Drinking less coffee goes hand in hand with a changing routine often. Is your headache possible on Saturday because you drink less coffee that day? Or is it the Friday afternoon drinks? Or have you worked late one evening, and are you awake at night? 

Conclusion

The combination of the taste, the slightly stimulating properties, and the social aspects makes drinking coffee enjoyable for many people. Although coffee drinkers sometimes speak of an addiction, this is not the case according to the most common criteria. Coffee has beneficial effects on health. 

Did you know that coffee is a recommended drink besides tea and water? It quenches thirst and contains no sugar itself.