Coffee improves memory function
For a lot of Americans, the morning routine starts with a cup or two of Joe. While coffee lovers might enjoy the aroma and buzz they can get from the caffeinated beverage, some myths have cropped up over the years regarding its health benefits. According to the National Coffee Association, 83 percent of adult Americans drank coffee in 2013, a jump of 5 percent from the previous year.
There are several benefits from drinking coffee in addition to its rich flavor. Millions of Americans enjoy the taste, but may also experience a slight boost in their mood or energy after consuming a cup. For a long time, these benefits have been well-known. However, new research suggests that the health benefits may be even greater than previously thought.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, coffee might even help in restoring memory. The study, which was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, shows that caffeine helps memory function for up to 24 hours after consumption.
"We've always known that caffeine has cognitive-enhancing effects, but its particular effects on strengthening memories and making them resistant to forgetting has never been examined in detail in humans," said Michael Yassa, the senior author of the study and an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Johns Hopkins. "We report for the first time a specific effect of caffeine on reducing forgetting over 24 hours."
Until the recent study, research on the long-terms effect of caffeine have shown no previous direct link between improved memory function and consumption. As one of the most popular drinks around the world, coffee is a common source of caffeine for many adults. For now, seniors who enjoy that cup or two they brew in the morning might might find their memory function improved throughout the rest of the day.
The myth that coffee can dehydrate a person may also have been proven wrong in the latest research. Under this belief, some will avoid drinking coffee in order to maintain their fluid balance. A recent report from the UK's University of Birmingham found that drinking coffee actually provides similar hydration to water.
The study documented the coffee consumption habits of 50 men who drank between three and six cups per day. In the first phase of the study, men drank only coffee. In the second, they drank water and coffee. The result was somewhat surprising for many who have long thought that coffee will prompt the body to flush out other liquids. The findings suggest that a person can develop a tolerance to the diuretic effects of coffee.
While the research points to positive signs about the benefits – or lack of negative effects – of coffee, it does not go far enough to conclude that water and coffee have the same health benefits. Too much caffeine can make a person jittery, and most experts agree that water or sports drinks are the best way to rehydrate after fluid levels have been depleted.
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