Caffeine is a friendly memory improver for some people.
Caffeine has had a bad reputation for some time now with reports stating that too much makes us jittery and anxious and that it is better to stick to herbal teas and fresh water to have a really healthy diet. However some of us may be throwing the baby out with the bath water. For the majority of the population caffeine is a fairly beneficial, useful and safe drug! It can help us boost our brains and improve our memories pretty easily.
One cup of tea or coffee in the morning does the trick
This morning ‘cuppa’ will give your brain an instant boost; speed up your reaction times, quicken your mental processing so that you will perform better on mental tests, and you will be able to recall information from your short and long term memory more efficiently. Furthermore if you drink a ‘cuppa’ at 9am, 2pm and 7pm your performance throughout the day will be far higher than if you had drunk only water at these times. Your alertness will stay sharp and you will be able to perform well on a large variety of tasks consistently over the span of the day. Researchers say that it is not only due to the shot of caffeine you are receiving but also to some of the other properties of tea or coffee. However it does give us a good excuse to take that break and have a nice drink as we relax. The other helpful news is that your brains will be firing on all cylinders within 10 minutes of taking the hot caffeinated drink.
Don’t get carried away as more is not better
Managers who were asked to make decisions in a study were shown to make poorer decisions once their caffeine intake had risen over the ‘normal’ three cups. They made decisions more quickly, but much more poorly. When you think how many cups of coffee someone who is tense is likely to consume the fact that their decision making is going to be much poorer is worrying.
So how much is enough?
About 3 cups/day seems to work well as a stimulant without causing damage. It helps to give you an adrenaline uplift which perks you up and sharpens your memory and thinking skills without doing any damage to the system. However there is one big proviso to all of this good news and that is that it depends on your being one of the people for whom caffeine is non toxic. If you are in the other camp who find that it makes them tense, anxious, shaky, headachy or body energy dips after drinking it you need to stop and rethink your liquid intake. For these people caffeine is like a toxic poison and if you are one of these people and you have been drinking it for some time you may find that you are a little addicted to it. Caffeine is a drug and does have addictive properties! If this is the case of you as you start to wean yourself off your morning ‘cuppa’ you may find that you have slight withdrawal symptoms. Headaches, muscle tension, lack of energy are typical. The good news is that these will only last for about a week and then your body will have re acclimatised to a caffeine free state and feel much happier.