Coffee is a very popular drink. However, it has been demonized in the past despite the fact that it is very healthy. As a matter of fact, coffee is the major source of antioxidants n the Western diet.
Coffee is also associated with different health benefits which include liver disease and a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. But does it also benefit your brain in anyway? Let us find out.
The Active Ingredients in coffee
Coffee is one incredible healthy beverage that contains hundreds of bio-active compounds which add to its powerful heath benefits. Most of these compounds are actually antioxidants, which fight all the damages caused by the free radicals in your cells.
The following are the most vital and active ingredients in coffee:
Chlorogenic acids (CHAs):
These great polyphenol antioxidants may benefit in some biological pathways like high blood pressure and blood sugar metabolism, both of which are much related to the risk of age-related mental decline.
This is the main active ingredient in coffee; it stimulates the central nervous system. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance throughout the world.
This alkaloid compound is quite unstable at high heat and during roasting; it forms nicotinic acid which is also known as niacin (vitamin B3). This trigonelline can also help prevent your dental cavities by inhibiting the possible bacteria growth.
Cafestol and kahweol:
It s present in coffee’s natural oil but high amount of this compound can be found in unfiltered coffee. They may protect against cancer and be god for your liver, but too much intake of it may raise LDL cholesterol.
Meanwhile, the amount of the above substances in a cup of coffee may vary. They depend solely on number of factors which include the type of coffee beans, how they are roasted and also how much you drink.
Conclusion: Coffee is one incredible healthy beverage filled with hundreds of biologically active compounds which include chlorogenic acid, caffeine, trigonelline, cafestol and kahweol.
In What Ways Does Coffee Affect Your Brain?
Caffeine affects our central nervous system in different ways. Meanwhile, those effects are believed to mainly stem from the way caffeine interacts with the adenosine receptor.
Adenosine is the neurotransmitter that promotes sleep in the brain. When it is bind to those receptors, it inhibits the possibility of neurons to fire. And this slows the neural activity. This adenosine normally builds up during the day and when it is time to sleep, it makes you drowsy.
Adenosine and caffeine have a very similar molecular structure. Therefore, when caffeine is in the brain, it competes with the adenosine to bind to the very same receptor. Unlike adenosine, caffeine doesn’t slow the firing of neurons; instead, it prevents adenosine from slowing you down.
Conclusion: Caffeine is the main reason why coffee boosts the brain function. The stimulant blocks adenosine, the inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain that makes you sleepy.
How Can Caffeine Boost Your brain Function?
Different studies have showed that caffeine can boost brain function in a short term. This is possible because prevents adenosine from binding to its. Caffeine also stimulates your central nervous system by promoting the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.
Caffeine can improve different aspects of brain function like;
- General mental function
- Reaction time
However, you may develop a tolerance to caffeine over the time i.e. you may need to consume more coffee than you normally do to get the same effect.
Conclusion: Caffeine causes changes in different neurotransmitters that may improve your mood, learning, vigilance and reaction time.
Should You Be Drinking Coffee?
Coffee can be very great for your brain when consumed in moderation.
In a short-term, I can improve your vigilance, mood, reaction time and learning. Its long-term use may also help protect you against diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer.
Most studies suggest that coffee is good for your brain. However, you need to take it in moderation. When you consume it in excess, caffeine can cause jitters, anxiety, sleep problem and heart palpitation.
Some people are very sensitive to caffeine, while many can drink many cups in a day without any side effects. Additionally, some people like adolescents, pregnant women and children need to limit their caffeine intake.
For the people who tolerate coffee, it can provide plenty impressive benefits for the brain.