Scientist Suggest The Smell Of Coffee Can Boost Intelligence | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Coffee Is So Powerful, You Don’t Even Need To Drink It To Be Awesome

There you have it; definitive proof that coffee makes you a higher functioning human. Case officially closed. Call it a day, and head to your local caffeine dealer.

In today’s daily dose of great news, following on from the already tried and tested benefits of coffee, research out of the Stevens Institute of Technology has revealed that even just the smell of the good stuff can boost your brain’s power.

“It’s not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting,” says lead researcher and Stevens School of Business professor Adriana Madzharov. “But they also thought they would do better, and we demonstrated that this expectation was at least partly responsible for their improved performance.”

Madzharov was referring to a placebo effect experienced by 100 students preparing to take a computer adaptive test, similar to those required for entry into many business schools.

The students were divided into two groups for the study, and submitted to 10 algebra questions. The groups were then placed in 2 rooms, one with an ambient coffee-like scent, and the other without. According to the results, the test group in the Starbucks-themed space came out on top, with significantly higher test scores.

You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that the results seemed too good and convenient to be true, with Madzharov and her team also agreeing. They subsequently set out to further clarify their findings, but conducting a 200 person strong survey, asking students whether they thought the smell of coffee would stimulate them towards a higher level of cognitive performance. Based on the results of this follow up survey, the researchers noticed that the majority of the students held the belief that the smell of coffee would boost their test scores, perhaps resulting in a placebo-related increase in performance.

Related: What Your Morning Coffee Says About You

The researchers are hoping that then freshly ground findings (pun intended) can be used to boost performance in a wide range of settings, including coffee-induced productivity for businesses.

“Olfaction [the sense of smell] is one of our most powerful senses,” says Madzharov. “Employers, architects, building developers, retail space managers and others, can use subtle scents to help shape employees’ or occupants’ experience with their environment. It’s an area of great interest and potential.”

The study is another win for coffee, with another recent study published in JAMA also worthy of your attention. Researchers pulled data on half a million people, and found that drinking basically any amount of coffee was linked to a longer lifespan.

Drink up team!

By Mens Health Staff

More From

Finding balance: how yoga can help you defy ageing

Finding balance: how yoga can help you defy ageing

Step into the world of wellness with Manoj Dias, your aficionado and fearless trend-chaser. In this column, we're delving deep into the hottest and obscure wellness trends and having candid conversations with pop culture icons. Our mission? Demystify wellness and bring it down to earth for all. First up, Dias recalls his first yoga class and reveals how the ancient practice can help fortify your mind and body as you age.

Isaac Humphries is unshackled

Isaac Humphries is unshackled

After coming out in November 2022, the Adelaide 36ers centre remains the only openly gay professional basketball player in the world. With the NBL's Champion Pride Round underway, Humphries reflects on his journey and the reasons why he’s playing the best basketball of his career.