Caffeine is unquestionably the world’s favorite brain stimulant, whether found in coffee, tea or carbonated beverages. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average American consumes about 300 mg of caffeine daily, roughly the equivalent of three cups of coffee. Many people rely on their morning brew to wake up and get going.
Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have just shown there is another possible reason for coffee’s popularity: caffeine can help keep memory sharper. The researchers recruited people who did not usually consume caffeine and gave them either a 200 mg caffeine pill or a placebo after the volunteers looked at a number of images. The following day they were shown another set of images which included some that were the same, some that were different and some that were only slightly different from the original images.
People who had taken caffeine did significantly better at discriminating between previously seen images and those that were slightly different. This suggests that caffeine enhanced recall and memory consolidation.