Most of us can’t even imagine beginning starting our day without a cup of coffee. This popular morning ritual has become a multi-billion-dollar industry with a coffee shop on every corner and in every major grocery store. Coffee is served at every restaurant and we can easily make it at home. Our love of coffee is displayed on mugs, T-shirts, and posters. It’s very clear to see that coffee is a necessary commodity in our modern world and much-loved by the majority.
We love coffee and use it to wake up in the morning or just for an afternoon pick me up Though caffeine is the main draw, it tastes great too for a yummy treat. Why wouldn’t we want to drink it all the time?
Coffee has been a popular beverage pretty much forever and dates all the way back to the 14th century originating in Ethiopia. From there, it quickly spread to Yemen, the Middle East, Europe, and eventually to the Americas. Today, coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the United States behind water. 83% of Americans drink it every day and you probably do too.
Despite our coffee obsession, the amount of caffeine in the coffee that we consume every day has been a cause for concern. There has been a health debate between doctors and researchers when it comes to drinking coffee and the effects of caffeine. Some critics will argue that the amount of caffeine in each cup quickly adds up to a level that is dangerously high and will negatively affect us, especially as we age. And they do have a point.
Caffeine is a stimulant and has been linked to exacerbating high blood pressure, which, of course, can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It can also aggravate anxiety, insomnia, and can even contain a fairly high sugar content depending on what you put in it, making it potentially dangerous for those with type-2 diabetes. Also, the truth is, caffeine is a drug. It alters the chemistry in our brain. Anything that does this is considered a drug and you probably know that caffeine is addictive too.
The caffeine buzz you get from your coffee use and each cup packs an average of 100–200 mg. Doctors recommend moderate caffeine consumption and say anywhere between one to three cups a day is perfect. Moderate caffeine consumption will most likely not cause any detrimental health effects. In fact, it does quite the opposite. It does some pretty great things for your brain, but what exactly does it do? How does it work?
The alertness effect of coffee is caused by the caffeine in it which imitates the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine is essential to our natural sleep pattern and the more adenosine that builds up in our brains connecting to receptors. This slows down our neural activity causing drowsiness. Caffeine and adenosine are very similar in chemical makeup which can confuse your brain, known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. So, when you drink coffee they compete to connect to the same receptors leaving you feeling much more alert as the caffeine wiggles it’s away in there. What’s more positive than that?
Coffee and caffeine also increase the levels of dopamine and glutamate in the brain. These activate the reward center of your brain making you happy which makes caffeine so addictive and coffee so good. So, sure, it’s maybe a little addictive and can have a high sugar content, but keep in mind that any negative effects on the body caused from caffeine is from consumption that is higher than average. Think six or more cups a day, which is a lot!
The positive effect of coffee on our brain is something to be noted and outweighs any negative effects brought on by coffee. It does more good for us than bad. It’s also full of antioxidants for an extra added bonus. Here are just a few of the positive impacts that a moderate coffee habit will have on your brain.
You’ll Live Longer
You really can’t beat this. In a recent study using 400,000 adults, showed that coffee drinkers lived 10% longer than their java hating counterparts.
You’ll Have a Better Memory
A John Hopkins study discovered that caffeine helps the brain with memories within 24 hours of consumption. It also increases our attention and vigilance. All it takes is 200 mg, or one cup, of caffeine to reap the benefits of having a better memory.
It’ll Give You a Mood Boost
A daily cup of coffee is almost a guarantee to having a better day and has the potential to improve your sense of well-being. Moderate caffeine consumption will boost your mood about 30 minutes after you drink it. Coffee drinkers also have a lower risk of depression, which, in turn, lowers the rate of suicide. Moderate caffeine intake is also linked to reducing anxiety levels and other positive effects. We can’t think of a better reason to enjoy a hot cup of Joe!
Can Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Positive Impacts of Coffee beans have been proven to even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and possibly the loss of long-term memory. This neuron degenerative disease slowly takes away a person’s ability to use their brain, store memories, and create new ones. It does this slowly and cruelly. However, coffee drinkers have a lower rate of developing Alzheimer’s and, if they do, the effects are much less.
Improves Mobility Brought on by Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease targets the mobility and control of one’s muscles. Studies have shown that people with Parkinson’s who consumed moderate levels of caffeine showed a five-point improvement on a mobility scale. It’s a small gain, but can ease symptoms and provide benefits for some.
Why wouldn’t you do your brain a favor and keep drinking that delicious coffee? All the brain benefits from coffee beans should be reason enough to not over think a daily habit. Anything in moderation can be enjoyed and the same goes for coffee. If you’re sticking to a moderate level of one to three cups a day, everything will be fine, and your brain will thank you. Enjoy your treat, get in a good mood, and benefit from important brain health.