a coffee cup with hot coffee with lots of coffee beans

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.

[Nature Neuroscience, Jan 12. 2014]

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  1. oldetimer

    Can anybody tell me what, if any, are the clinical and chemical differences between “regular” coffee and Instant Coffee? In all the articles I read about coffee, I never see this issue referred to.
    Thank you.

  2. Donnie

    I’ve drink black coffee, and have for most of my life. I do seem to have a better memory then my relatives and friends who do not drink it. I can’t drink tea because the natural fluoride in it is bad for my thyroid. I do eat a little organic dark chocolate. I’m very happy to see the various benefits for coffee drinkers.

  3. GJS

    More likely the video was a fake.

  4. Margaret

    I agree with the above comment – it was probably the sugar in the chocolate. When my son was young sugar had the same effect on him.

  5. Betty France

    The chocolate most likely had sugar.

  6. red

    All other studies I have read about show caffeine makes some persons unable to focus. I have seen a video of a child who was given chocolate awhile before taking a test. The child COULD NOT sit still in his seat and hardly did any of the problems in the allowed time. The video then showed the child later (when no chocolate was in his system) sitting at a desk taking a test. He sat still, completed the test in the allowed time and did very good on the test. What I saw is contrary to this study..

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