If you love your cup o’ joe every morning, you’ll be thrilled to know that it could be good for your brain.
Coffee has, for long, been known to aid weight loss and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes1. It has also been known to improve brain performance. However, like everything else, too much coffee may be bad for you. More than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee could result in side effects like migraine, insomnia, and frequent urination. You might also develop a tolerance to it, making you want to drink more coffee to benefit from it! Adding sugar or cream to your coffee is also likely to make its consumption less beneficial for your brain. Coffee in excess can also be risky for pregnant women and children.
4 Reasons Why Coffee Is Good For Your Brain
1. Helps You Concentrate
Drinking coffee can help you get rid of any signs of sleepiness and stay alert. The caffeine in it blocks a substance called adenosine2, which in high levels makes you sleepy. Caffeine also increases the levels of other brain chemicals like dopamine, which energize you and help you stay alert. Staying alert, in turn, improves your concentration.
2. Improves Your Mood
Coffee is said to make you feel better when you are low. When you drink it, the caffeine in it increases the level of serotonin, which plays an important role in influencing your mood. When serotonin levels are high, you feel good and happy; when they are low, you feel sad. So, by increasing serotonin levels, coffee can make you happy. It may also reduce your chances of feeling depressed.3
3. Improves Cognitive Function
If you can’t begin your day without drinking coffee, it’s because coffee alters the way your brain functions to a fair extent. Caffeine, which is the main ingredient in coffee, mildly stimulates your central nervous system and enhances cognitive abilities such as reasoning and thinking.4 It does this by binding to the receptors of adenosine, which is responsible for slowing down cell activity. And while caffeine looks like adenosine to a nerve cell, it does not function the same way – it enhances cell activity instead of slowing it down, thus making your mind active and improving its abilities. This is also why coffee is known to enhance short-term memory.
4. Protects From Brain Disorders
Coffee, when consumed regularly but in moderation, is said to protect the brain from declining age-related cognitive ability – it may help you to continue to reason and remember things. Not just that, it may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease5, which impairs brain function – especially in the elderly. The caffeine in coffee contributes to this. Drinking coffee may also reduce the chances of dementia, or the loss of memory and judgment. It is also said to lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Even the best things in excess are harmful to the body. So drinking coffee in moderation will allow you to enjoy its amazing brain benefits for a long time.
|↑1||Van Dam, Rob M., and Edith JM Feskens. “Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” The Lancet 360, no. 9344 (2002): 1477-1478.|
|↑2||Davis, J. Mark, Zuowei Zhao, Howard S. Stock, Kristen A. Mehl, James Buggy, and Gregory A. Hand. “Central nervous system effects of caffeine and adenosine on fatigue.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 284, no. 2 (2003): R399-R404.|
|↑3||Lucas, Michel, Fariba Mirzaei, An Pan, Olivia I. Okereke, Walter C. Willett, Éilis J. O’Reilly, Karestan Koenen, and Alberto Ascherio. “Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women.” Archives of internal medicine 171, no. 17 (2011): 1571-1578.|
|↑4||Heckman, Melanie A., Jorge Weil, De Mejia, and Elvira Gonzalez. “Caffeine (1, 3, 7‐trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters.” Journal of food Science 75, no. 3 (2010).|
|↑5||Carman, A. J., P. A. Dacks, R. F. Lane, D. W. Shineman, and H. M. Fillit. “Current evidence for the use of coffee and caffeine to prevent age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.” The journal of nutrition, health & aging 18, no. 4 (2014): 383-392.|