Today, nutritionists and health experts are hotly debating the effects that regular coffee drinking can have on the body. Some argue that this drink is extremely useful, while others warn of possible negative consequences.
What is the truth in these disputes? And, speaking directly about the work of the brain and cognitive functions, how can coffee affect them?
We spoke with several experts and nutritionists to find out what effect coffee has on our brain.
Drinking coffee can lead to sleep disturbances
If you don’t keep track of what time of day you drink coffee, you may find it difficult to fall asleep late at night. Our nutritionists explained that this is a direct result of the effect of the drink on the brain.
“One of the main ways that coffee affects the brain is through its interaction with a neurotransmitter called adenosine,” explained Trista Best, a certified dietitian at Balance One Supplements. “This neurotransmitter, which accumulates throughout the day, plays an important role in improving sleep.” “However, it is similar in molecular structure to caffeine, which means that they compete for receptor sites in the brain. Caffeine wins by inhibiting the action of adenosine.”
According to Best, “this is the main reason many people can’t sleep or sleep poorly if they drink coffee at certain times of the day.”
Coffee may improve cognitive function
Sleep disturbances aside, coffee has been shown to have positive effects on brain health and cognitive function.
“Coffee’s benefits lie in its ability to improve brain function and cognition. Caffeine promotes the release of beneficial neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine,” Best explained. “This results in improved reaction time, mood, mindfulness, and attention span.”
While scientists have already proven that caffeine has a positive effect on cognition, more research is underway to find out if you can enjoy some of these benefits with decaffeinated coffee. That is, scientists want to check how important the antioxidants contained in this drink play.
Antioxidants in Coffee May Benefit Brain Health
Coffee is loaded with powerful antioxidants that are known to help support brain health. “Antioxidants and more than a hundred biologically active substances in coffee prevent damage to blood vessels and arteries and, in turn, can improve blood perfusion (the force with which blood moves throughout the body), that is, to ensure uninterrupted blood flow to the brain,” Morgin said. Claire is a certified dietitian and author of Fit Healthy Momma.
According to Claire, this drink can also be useful as a preventive measure. “The antioxidants in coffee also fight free radicals that damage your body’s cells, and thus may provide protection against brain disease.”
For the most part, coffee has a beneficial effect on your brain health. However, a lot depends on how you drink it, so be careful how much cream and sugar you add to your cup. If you have any doubts about how coffee affects your brain, talk to your doctor to find out more.