We pretty much run on caffeine here. Luckily, it’s good for us! Check out this article from Mic.com about how to maximize the benefits of coffee!
It’s 10:30 a.m. on a weekday and you’re already working on your third cup of coffee. You know that caffeine doesn’t just help keep you from curling up under your desk and taking a nap — it makes you more productive in the long run.
Researchers know all this too. According to one review of scientific research on caffeine, published in the journal Nutrition, caffeine — coffee’s not-so-secret weapon — improves focus, problem-solving skills, reaction time, decision accuracy and general cognitive function. Plus, it decreases mental fatigue.
But you might not know that caffeine doesn’t actually boost energy levels. Rather, caffeine blocks your body’s adenosine receptors, so you feel as if you have more energy, Georgie Fear, registered dietitian and author of Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss, said in an email. “When active, your adenosine receptors perform essential functions related to sleep and suppressing arousal. So by blocking this ‘chill out’ pathway, the central nervous system is stimulated.”
And, caffeine aside, most people underestimate the fact that coffee hydrates you — just as well as water, according to a 2014 study from University of Birmingham researchers in the U.K. That hydration can only help your brain cells do their thing, said Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian and the author of Read It Before You Eat It.
What’s more, the antioxidants and various compounds in coffee appear to have long-term benefits for cognitive function: Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease shows that drinking three cups of coffee per day can delay the onset of dementia in people who are already starting to suffer from memory problems.
To maximize the benefits of your coffee, follow the expert-approved coffee-drinking guidelines below.