According to the results of a recent study, yes coffee is good for your brain, well, at least the caffeine in coffee.  The study looked at the effect of caffeine supplements on memory and brain function.  They found that participants who took 200 milligrams of caffeine performed better on memory tests than those taking a lower supplemental dosage and those taking the placebo.  The news gets even better because the best sources of caffeine are believed to be coffee and tea.  So now you can have your morning coffee and consider it brain training.

Is Coffee Really Good for Your Brain?“For all you java lovers out there, there’s no need to put down your beloved cuppa just yet! Despite all the negative information we often hear about coffee, the different perks of java (besides the scent, obviously) just keeping on popping up daily. Coffee has been one of the most well-loved beverages for many people for a long time now and with good reason. It’s not only delicious, but also rich in B vitamins, chromium to stabilize your blood sugar, and offers a good source of magnesium and potassium to relax the nervous system and relieve tension. (1)

How caffeine can boost your memory and positively impact aging of the brain

Caffeine seems to work its magic due to the way it blocks a molecule in the brain known as adenosine. Adenosine has been found to block norepinephrine in the brain, which is a hormone that has been shown to enhance memory function; therefore the intake of caffeine allows norepinephrine to move in the brain easier, enhancing memory and overall brain function. (2)

How much caffeine does it take?

Research from John Hopkins University in Baltimore studied 160 people who all took either a 100-300 milligram supplement of caffeine, or a placebo. The subjects were 18-30 years of age and were asked to look at photos of indoor and outside objects. The results of the study showed that those taking at least 200 milligrams of caffeine were able to remember more than those taking a placebo or a lower dose of 100 milligrams of caffeine supplements. Those who took up to 300 milligrams didn’t remember more than those taking 200 milligrams, suggesting that more caffeine isn’t always the better option. (2)

What’s the best source of caffeine?

Though the study used caffeine supplements in the testing on memory, tea and coffee have been shown to be the most healthful sources of caffeine, among supplements, drinks, and processed food sources. They’re also the most natural form and if you buy organic, they also come with many additional health benefits such as vitamins, antioxidants, and very little to no calories. (3) The caffeine found in most diet pills often comes from chemical or inorganic sources and energy drinks are often full of sugar or unhealthy chemicals. (4)

How to get the perfect dose of caffeine to improve your memory

An 8 ounce cup of coffee will offer you about 220 milligrams of caffeine. To prepare your coffee more healthily, avoid pasteurized dairy milk or cream and stay away from refined sugar and creamers. (3) Go with some unsweetened non-dairy milk as your creamer, for example homemade raw almond milk, and use stevia or coconut crystals as a natural sweetener. You can also drink coffee black as the healthiest option. If you prefer tea, most types (besides caffeine-free herbal) have anywhere from 80-200 milligrams of caffeine.

Overall, don’t sweat over consuming a cup of coffee or tea if you love it. It doesn’t just soothe your soul but also might help keep you happy, youthful, and smarter too!”    

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