No wonder so many people drown their coffee in sugar and gravitate toward saccharine breakfast foods. In 2017, the Journal of Food Science reported that people rated a sweetened caffeinated coffee as less sweet than a sweetened decaf coffee. A sugar solution consumed after the coffee was also deemed less sweet in the caffeine trial. Interestingly, there was no impact on other taste sensations, namely bitter, sour, salty or umami. Caffeine appears to dull receptors in our sweet-sensitive taste cells.

So, a daily coffee habit could make it harder to cut back on sweets. Good to know, the next time you’re tempted to order a pastry with your steamy cup of Joe.

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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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