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Drinking Coffee Before Shopping Can Cause 'Impulsive Spending', Study Says

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Drinking Coffee Before Shopping Can Cause 'Impulsive Spending', Study Says

Coffee gets a lot of us through the day, but if you're planning to go shopping, you might want to refrain from that latte you've been craving.

This is because a new study has found that people who drink coffee before hitting the shops are not only likely to spend more but engage in impulsive shopping.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Marketing, also found that coffee drinkers were more likely to spend their cash on 'hedonic' - aka sensual - items like candles and luxury holidays.

Apparently, if you're not on a caffeine high, you will instead opt for more sensible purchases like stationary and kitchen utensils.

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Coffee and shop with caution... Credit: Michael Spring/Alamy Stock Photo
Coffee and shop with caution... Credit: Michael Spring/Alamy Stock Photo

The study's authors noted that the effects of caffeine haven't been widely researched, despite its availability.

They said: "Understanding how and why caffeine consumption influences spending is important since caffeine is one of the most powerful stimulants that is both legal and widely available."

So, if this comes as a surprise to you, welcome to the club.

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The study examined the spending habits of people who were given a drink before entering a shopping centre - the options were caffeinated, decaf and water.

Credit: Sergio Hayashi/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Sergio Hayashi/Alamy Stock Photo

The trials, which were conducted in France and Spain, found that 'the caffeine group spent significantly more money and bought a higher number of items than those who drank decaf or water.'

This is because coffee triggers a state of arousal that causes drinkers to feel more energetic.

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When we are in this state, we are more perceptive to the features and aesthetics of a purchase - like the natural high you're also likely to get while lounging by the pool on holiday.

While the study did note that drinking coffee can be good for you, this is one example of when it might not be in your best interests.

The Mayo Clinic states that some of the benefits of coffee consumption include a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Parkinson's disease - as well as heart attacks and strokes.

If you're looking to save, you might want to get a decaf. Credit: Lev Dolgachov/Alamy Stock Photo
If you're looking to save, you might want to get a decaf. Credit: Lev Dolgachov/Alamy Stock Photo
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Therefore, if you've not got the cash to splash, then you should be careful about what you drink before shopping.

The researchers wrote: "Hence, consumers trying to control impulsive spending should avoid consuming caffeinated beverages before shopping.

"Policy makers may also want to inform consumers about the potential effects of caffeine on spending."

Featured Image Credit: Hero Images Inc./Tetra Images, LLC/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Food and Drink

Emma Guinness
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