There is a lot of coffee you drink. The proximity of the nearest Starbucks to your office. How much did you sleep? The number of urgent and acutely stressful deadlines clogging your diary. But before you chastise yourself for your complete caffeine dependency, here's something else that plays a major role: your genetics. The more sensitive you are, the more you're likely to drink. Is not that a useful fact to have at your disposal the next time your colleague side-eyes you for your fifth cup of the day?
Researchers from Northwestern University in the U.S. and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia studied the connection between our perception of coffee's bitterness and how much we drink it. Bitterness, the researchers noted, should not we? And yet a quick glance at the morning cue at the nearest coffee shop is enough to demonstrate that's far from the case.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, The Association is committed to the sensitivity of coffee and coffee consumption in over 400,000 people in the UK. The researchers are looking for a connection between the presence of a protein and the amount of coffee that is being consumed.
The results? The people more sensitive to the bitter taste of coffee actually more of it. "Given humans generally avoid bitter tastes, we interpret these findings as possibly a learned behavior," co-author Dr Marilyn Cornelis, from Northwestern, told the Guardian, "If we can perceive caffeine well we associate this with the psychostimulant properties of caffeine and so seek more coffee." Simply put, if you're more sensitive to coffee, you're likely to associate with it more strongly with its precious energizing effects – and drink a lot more as a result.
"Strong caffeine tasters" are first and foremost author Jue Sheng Ong, from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, explained. Caffeine button, it actually makes you 20% more likely to become a heavy drinker -drinking more than four cups per day, "he told the Guardian,
Taste, the researchers suggest, is not just down to chance, or the environment around you; instead, it's heavily influenced by your genetics. Katie at the desk Katie at the desk next to you seems just fine with her fruit-infused water? The answer, it turns out, might be in your genes.