Whether you are a Starbucks superfan, loyal Costa customer or prefer to make your own brew at home; coffee is an integral part of many of our lives.
One time which always calls for a cuppa is during our studies, to hydrate our minds and treat our taste buds whilst we work; but does it actually help us, hinder us or have no affect at all on our study ability?
Are we inadvertently lessening the impact of our study time or are we making our studying even more effective?
Well, there have been a variety of studies such as a meta-analysis by the BMJ which demonstrate the health benefits of drinking coffee, so we know to some extent how our beverage choice impacts our life.
However, the cognitive and psychological effects of coffee have only recently been delved into; and these are of course key components when it comes to our studies.
Find out how your beautiful brew can impact your studies and how to maximise the benefits of your caffeinated drink.
How Does Coffee Impact General Health?
There are many health implications for coffee drinkers; and in recent years these have proven to be more and more positive. In fact, in a recent Guardian article, they explored the modern studies analysing the health implications of drinking coffee and found that overall there were mainly positive health implications to drinking coffee.
From reduced risk of diabetes to living longer, there is a range of evidence that coffee is – in general – more advantageous to health than negative. Although the NHS are cautious to say whether it’s beneficial to pregnant women and those at risk of certain illnesses, and do analyse the data on the NHS website. However, even they conclude that in general, coffee does seem to have some significant benefits to the everyday drinker.
Drinking coffee after studying can build better long-term memories, and by sticking to just
you avoid any symptoms of caffeine overconsumption
How Does Coffee Impact General Health?
Caffeine, one of the main components of coffee, is a known stimulant and therefore helps us stay alert and feel more awake. The focus that caffeine can give us on certain tasks is wider than previously thought, with the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee revealing the interactions between different cognitive functions when we have a coffee or caffeinated drink. They highlight benefits such as an increased reaction time, reduced cognitive failures and improved driving test results.
As well as the cognitive benefits of caffeine, it appears that coffee helps with our mood also. Whilst many studies addressed the health aspects of caffeine, one aspect which also appeared to come up time and time again was participants reporting an improved mood, and according to most studies, can help limit the symptoms of depression in some people.
Many studies have explored the positive effects that caffeine has on memory including researchers at John Hopkins University, who found that caffeine has a positive impact on our long-term memory; strengthening memories and making you less likely to forget the information you’ve learned. Of course, when it comes to revising for the big exams or trying to focus on writing an essay, this comes in very handy! If you’re interested in memory aids, have a read on our Mnemonics guide.
When Should You Drink Coffee?
The study carried out by John Hopkins University also revealed another key aspect to coffee drinking whilst studying; you can maximise the impact of your caffeinated drink by waiting until after you study to drink it.
Although it might sound strange, they found that drinking coffee after studies helped boost memory retention by
Everything in Moderation
Balance is everything, and that is true when it come to coffee too. Having a morning cuppa, coffee with lunch and one in the afternoon is likely to be beneficial, and they estimate that the ideal amount of coffee to drink is up to 3-4 cups a day. However, having too much caffeine can lead to adverse effects such as insomnia, irritability, nervousness and an upset stomach (the famous scene from the Inbetweeners when Will overloaded on caffeine is a perfect example!). Of course, if there are any tea drinkers longing for the benefits of coffee then don’t worry; as much of the benefit which comes from drinking coffee comes from the caffeine which is also present in tea, though in lower quantities.
With over 70 million cups of coffee being consumed every day by Brits alone, it is safe to say that coffee has an impact on many lives.
Through modern research, we have now discovered that not only does coffee (and caffeine) have many more influences over our health and mental state than previously thought, but that we can use these as tools to help us when engaging in certain activities.
With a latte in one hand and a laptop in the other, you are on your way to getting great grades without giving up your Grande!
BMJ, Scientists wake up to coffee’s benefits
The Guardian, Three coffees a day linked to a range of health benefits
NHS, Does coffee make you live longer?
Scientific Information on Coffee Caffeine and mental alertness – part 1
John Hopkins University Caffeine has positive effect on memory, Johns Hopkins researchers say