Much has been written about the pros and cons of coffee and caffeine, but what’s the bottom line? Is drinking coffee good for your brain’s health? Today, we’re going to cover all you need to know about coffee, and how it affects your brain.
What is Coffee, Anyway?
Next to water, coffee is the most popular drink in the world. Beyond the fact that it’s delicious, coffee packs several powerful benefits that can help you tackle your day. While we’re all familiar with roasted coffee beans, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to coffee.
The coffee we know and love gets its start as the tiny fruit which grows from coffee plants. Coffee plants are usually grown short, which makes it easier to harvest the ripe fruit from the plant, but they can grow to over 9 meters tall if left unchecked. These plants are quite beautiful, with a mix of flowers, unripe fruit, and ripe fruit.
Within each coffee bean, there are several compounds that give coffee the kick it’s so famous for.
Caffeine – The most well-known compound within coffee is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, and it’s the most common drug in the world. Caffeine is responsible for the pep in your step you gain after enjoying a cup.
CGAs – Also known as chlorogenic acids, these compounds are antioxidants which assist in several different bodily processes including blood sugar metabolism. CGAs are also believed to lower high blood pressure.
How Coffee Affects Your Brain
When we talk about the effects of coffee on the brain, we’re mostly talking about caffeine. Caffeine affects the brain in several different ways, including cognition, memory, and many more.
Caffeine and Cognition
The effects of caffeine on brain function are well documented, and it’s believed that caffeine can help improve short-term brain function and cognition.
It’s believed that caffeine has a positive effect on many cognitive aspects of the brain, including:
Caffeine and Memory
When it comes to the effects of caffeine on memory, the results are a bit more mixed. Several studies have displayed a link between coffee and improvement in short term memory, other studies have found that there was no link, or that coffee may even impair the memory.
Additional Benefits of Caffeine
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of coffee is its ability to stave off the feeling of fatigue and tiredness. After all, this is usually the reason we reach for a cup of coffee in the first place. Significant amounts of research have shown that coffee can reduce feelings of fatigue, although this fatigue reduction is usually short-lived.
Preliminary studies have suggested that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 65%. Similarly, those who drink three cups of coffee per day had reduced their risk of Parkinson’s disease by 29%, according to one study.
Are There Any Negatives Associated With Caffeine?
While there are some amazing benefits of drinking coffee, there are also a few negatives you should be aware of.
Perhaps the most well-known side effect of coffee is directly tied to it’s greatest benefit. Coffee is a stimulant which inhibits feelings of drowsiness.
Finally, there’s also the issue of coffee and dental hygiene. The acid in coffee can eat away at the enamel of your teeth, and it can also discolor teeth as well.
Should You Be Drinking More Coffee for Your Brain’s Health?
There are many benefits of coffee that are directly associated with brain health. There are also a few side effects to be aware of as well. In general, most people can benefit greatly from a cup (or a few cups) of coffee each day, and the side effects associated with coffee aren’t likely to impact them.
Since everybody is different, it’s best to see how coffee affects you as an individual. But one thing is for certain, if you’re looking to push your brain further and unlock some positive cognitive and mental benefits; coffee is one of the first things you should consider.
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