Caffeine as a safe nootropic

Blog on Brain Training

Caffeine as a safe nootropic

2015-04-25 16:57:03

Do you like coffee? Or tea? I have some good news for you: the most recent and reliable research show clearly, that reasonable amount of daily caffeine has a big, positive impact on body health. But it is not the end of the coffee story. Caffeine could not only improve health, but also works as one of the safest nootropic, substance, which improve cognitive performance. Use your favourite beverage, coffee or tea, as a health component of the balanced diet.

coffee for brain

There are plenty of reliable evidence, that moderate coffee consumption of 3-4 cups per day improve health, lowering the relative risk of all cause mortality and morbidity (Je & Giovannucci, 2014; Zhao et al., 2014; Crippa et al., 2014; Saito et al., 2015). Coffee seems to be the most studied nootropic. Same research also suggest, that bigger amount of daily coffee could be harmful. Similar, good evidence are available in case of tea consumption on moderate level, 4-6 cups a day (Zhang et al., 2015; Gardner et al., 2007). Epidemiological research however usually show only the correlation between variances and not ensure causation. And indeed one recent large study questions the coffee health effect (Rohit et al., 2014), but do not question its stimulating effect.

Coffee or tea seems to be not only the potion of health, but also the potion of cognitive performance. Caffeine improve attention and working memory and could improve that way the efficiency of your computerized cognitive training (Glade, 2010). You can try it just before your daily brain session. In long term moderate coffee drinking probably improve the memory consolidation (Borota et al., 2014), but for now the evidence are weak. Caffeine also seems to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in elderly, especially postponing Alzheimer's diseases (Santos et al., 2010).

The dark side of coffee drinking is a sleep deprivation. Caffeine could interrupt sleep patterns, what worsens the sleep quality. For that reason you should not drink coffee or tea in your late hours. Deep sleep is very important for the brain health and cognitive performance - it will be the next week topic.

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Borota, Daniel, et al. "Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans." Nature neuroscience 17.2 (2014): 201-203.

Crippa, Alessio, et al. "Coffee Consumption and Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis." American journal of epidemiology (2014): kwu194.

Gardner, E. J., C. H. S. Ruxton, and A. R. Leeds. "Black tea–helpful or harmful? A review of the evidence." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 61.1 (2007): 3-18.

Glade, Michael J. "Caffeine—not just a stimulant." Nutrition 26.10 (2010): 932-938.

Je, Youjin, and Edward Giovannucci. "Coffee consumption and total mortality: a meta-analysis of twenty prospective cohort studies." British Journal of Nutrition 111.07 (2014): 1162-1173.

Loomba, Rohit S., Saurabh Aggarwal, and Rohit R. Arora. "The Effect of Coffee and Quantity of Consumption on Specific Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality: Coffee Consumption Does Not Affect Mortality." American journal of therapeutics (2014).

Saito, Eiko, et al. "Association of coffee intake with total and cause-specific mortality in a Japanese population: the Japan Public Health Center–based Prospective Study." The American journal of clinical nutrition (2015): ajcn104273.

Santos, Catarina, et al. "Caffeine intake and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis." Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 20 (2010): 187-204.

Zhang, Chi, et al. "Tea consumption and risk of cardiovascular outcomes and total mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective observational studies." European journal of epidemiology (2014): 1-11.

Zhao, Yimin, et al. "Association of coffee drinking with all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Public health nutrition (2014): 1-10.