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Is your caffeine habit affecting your sweet tooth?

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Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

Do you ever feel a strong need to have a pastry with your coffee? No need to feel ashamed or anything—there’s a scientific reason behind it.

According to a new study done by Cornell University, caffeine consumption actually decreases your perception of sweetness. This is why you might hanker for a croissant or something sugary to go along with your coffee.

To measure this, participants were divided into two groups—one group drank straight up coffee while the other had non-caffeinated coffee with quinine (which mimics coffee’s bitterness). The results? Those who had no caffeine perceived higher sweetness than those who had caffeine.

“The caffeine, we believe, is causing sweet-taste perception to decrease.”

“The caffeine, we believe, is causing sweet-taste perception to decrease,” says Ezen Choo, Ph.D., a collaborator on the study. “So when you are not able to taste the sweetness as well, that may drive one to crave sweets or want to eat a cookie or donut with their coffee.”

This study was done as a follow-up to an earlier one done with mice, in which a correlation was found between caffeine and the craving of something sweet. The bad news of this caffeine effect is that now marketers can use this even more to their advantage, advertising sugary treats to go along their coffee product. But it’s good to be aware that there’s a biological thing going on that’s making you give that donut heart eyes.

If you want to cut back, here’s how to quit caffeine in 4 easy steps. And this is how to reset a caffeine overload