Coffee – I have certainly always thought that coffee helped me get started in the morning. My wife even refrains from talking to me much until I have had at least part of a cup.
I was pleased to learn of a study published in Frontiers of Psychology last November (“Caffeine Enhances Memory Performance in Young Adults during Their Non-optimal Time of Day“).
It has been well known that caffeine:
- easily crosses the blood-brain barrier
- increases the firing rates of the brain in regions controlling sleep and mood
- increases alertness
This study confirms that caffeine not only improves the memory recall of older adults, but it has the same affect on college age students. Keep in mind that this study specifically addresses the ability of caffeine to improve the memory of those who are struggling to wake up: “caffeine benefits cognition during suboptimal conditions- in this case, during the low point in young adults’ circadian rhythm.”
I like the taste of coffee, so I don’t need this benefit. It is nice to know though that there are other benefits to having a cup or two each morning.