Coffee: How It Affects Your Mood VS. Your Brain Power

coffee-mood-poster-caffeineCoffee and Your Mood

Caffeine has many effects on your body and taken in large doses, it can be harmful. It affects four hormones in your body that can affect your mood.

Caffeine can disrupt absorption of adenosine, which helps calm the body. This can make you feel alert for a while, but can cause sleep problems in the long run.

Caffeine gives you more adrenaline in your system, giving you a temporary boost, then causing a crash later, making you feel fatigued and depressed. If you ease this feeling by drinking more coffee, it could cause agitation and then edginess.

Caffeine also increases cortisol, the “stress hormone”, which can lead to other health problems such as weight gain and moodiness to heart disease and diabetes.

Lastly, caffeine increases dopamine levels, which makes you feel good, but when it wears off it could make you feel sad. This also leads to addiction.

Coffee and Brainpower in Women

While coffee may negatively affect our mood, new research shows that a caffeinated cup of coffee can improve a woman’s brainpower in stressful situations.

Bristol University researchers tested 64 men and women to examine the effects of coffee on the body already under stress, especially when consumed in large quantities.

The study found that caffeine boosted women’s performance but that it impaired men’s memories and slowed their decision-making. The participants were divided into same-sex pairs and given tasks, from carrying out negotiations, memory tests and puzzles. Half the pairs were given decaffeinated coffee, while the others were given normal coffee.

Researchers found that mens’ performance in memory tests were ‘greatly impaired’ if they drank caffeinated coffee and that they took an average of 20 seconds longer to complete tasks than men on decaff.

Women completed the puzzles 100 seconds faster after drinking a cup of full-caffeine coffee, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology reports.

Researchers believe that the caffeine affects brainpower differently in men and women based on the different ways the genders deal with stress.

How can I get this brain boost from coffee and not let it affect me negatively?

Limit your intake to around 2 cups a day. Limiting your caffeine intake will help you get the boost from it you need without much of the health risks and symptoms.

Don’t drink any after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for eight hours or longer, so stopping at 2 p.m. ensures you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Drink coffee before you work out. Drinking that cup of delicious caffeinated beverage before exercise helps enhance your performance and the stress-management benefits of working out.

Study courtesy of Marie Claire.

To read more from Lauren, check out Lauren’s Thoughts.

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Comments

  1. This very interesting Lauren! Did you know that caffeine positively affects cognition, memory and the ability to complete complex tasks? The next time you’re feeling a little sluggish stop in for a gourmet cup of coffee!

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