Many wonder if and how does coffee help with concentration. It’s ones of the world’s most popular psychoactive substances, increasing dopamine levels and improving energy levels. It’s popular for helping with concentration, elevating your mood, and getting your body going. Yet, caffeine consumption can also lead to anxiety and sleep deprivation. This article looks more closely and answers, “how does coffee help with concentration?”
How does Coffee Help with Concentration?
It’s not often that we consider coffee a drug, but caffeine is one of the most widely used natural psychoactive substances in the world. Caffeine is found in many plants, but it’s also synthetically produced and used in medications and energy drinks for its energising and focus-promoting effects.
Though caffeine can be found in many different food and drink products, coffee is the most potent and most consumed caffeinated beverage. A single eight-ounce cup of coffee contains between 95-200mg of caffeine. For comparison, a 12-ounce soda contains 35-45mg, about half the amount of a weaker cup of coffee.
When we consume caffeine, it can take between 30-60 minutes for our body to experience the maximum effects. After being absorbed, caffeine is efficiently distributed throughout the whole body, and it crosses the blood-brain barrier.
Adenosine is a sleep-promoting chemical and plays a key role in our sleep-wake cycle. The brain produces adenosine the longer we’re awake. The more it builds up, the sleepier we become. When caffeine crosses the blood-brain barrier, it blocks our adenosine receptors, which means we remain alter and vigilant rather than becoming sleepy. Caffeine effectively borrows energy. Once caffeine leaves our system, we get a rush of Adenosine which is the reason for the caffeine slump that’s often experienced.
Furthermore, there is research that shows how caffeine interferes with our Circadian rhythms which delays our onset of sleep. These rhythms are natural physiological patterns that operate on a 24-hour clocks. Because caffeine has on our Adenosine, it’s suggested that caffeine’s interference with this process may explain its impact on circadian rhythm.
Given the above, it’s now easy to understand how does coffee help with concentration.
The Benefits of Caffeine
Due to the way caffeine effects the Adenosine levels in our brain, there are a few useful benefits it’s known for.
- Enhances short-term memory: Caffeine can help to improve alertness and enhance short-term capabilities so that you can easily learn and absorb new information. This can be helpful during a long study session, allowing you to retain more detail over a short period of time. In fact, studies show that drinking a cup of coffee before you hit the books can help you absorb information for more than 24 hours.
- Increases concentration and focus: When you’re studying or working at home, you’re often surrounded by distractions that can make it difficult to check things off your to-do list. Coffee can work to centre our focus and improve alertness when combing through your to do lists.
- Improves mood: Coffee is also said to improve your mood. Like other psychoactive compounds, caffeine causes your body to increase the level of dopamine to your brain, which in turn makes you feel happy.
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