caffeine and memory

Caffeine, a good diet and a drink a day: mental clarity

by Mark Miller August 24, 2017 4 min read

It seems caffeine may enhance memory and learning, but not if it is taken before the lesson is to be learned. Research from a few years ago says caffeine should be taken after that important business meeting, crucial college lecture or other knowledge-imparting event you need to recall.

Some studies show a benefit from caffeine on memory, some show none. Same with alcohol. But it seems scientists find with few exceptions that good diets promote healthy minds and bodies.

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Coffee is good for you

Coffee is good for you

by Mark Miller July 27, 2017 4 min read

Coffee is good for you. Two recent studies have shown that coffee can increase the length of the lives of those who drink it. It can be part of a healthy lifestyle. The two studies, which followed two large groups of coffee drinkers for 16 years, have shown that you can coffee and healthful living too.

"The key message is that people can drink coffee," associate professor of preventive medicine Victoria Setiawan at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California told TODAY. "It seems there's no long-term harm."

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synthetic vs. natural caffeine

Synthetic vs. natural caffeine: a primer

by Mark Miller July 20, 2017 4 min read

Is there a big difference between synthetic and natural caffeine? Apparently, synthetic caffeine is much more powerful than the caffeine found naturally in plants. The question is, is synthetic caffeine harmful?

Some fairly ominous-sounding chemicals are used to process synthetic caffeine. Websites are unclear as to whether the ethyl acetate and methylene chloride (and carbon dioxide) used to process urea to manufacture synthetic caffeine remain in the product. Ethyl acetate is used as a flavoring in some foods, though, so perhaps it is not harmful and may remain in synthetic caffeine.

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Can caffeine help with weight loss?

Can caffeine help with weight loss?

by Mark Miller July 06, 2017 5 min read

Some research has suggested that caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis - a scientific name for the way your body generates heat and energy from the calories in your food; but nutrition experts say that this effect probably isn't enough to produce significant weight-loss. Caffeine may also reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but again, there's no good evidence over the long-term that this effect leads to weight-loss. To date, no conclusive clinical studies have been done to determine the long-term effect of caffeine on weight loss, and the smaller studies that have been done show a lot of variability in the outcomes.

 

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coffee at night

Should you drink coffee at night? (Probably not)

by Mark Miller June 29, 2017 4 min read

Should you drink coffee at night? Apparently not. Between not getting enough sleep and drinking alcohol or doing drugs, many people are not getting enough sleep, and the sleep they do get is not optimal, researchers say. A recent study says if you drink coffee or take caffeine at night that can interfere with sleep patterns by disrupting the circadian rhythm, or the body's internal clock that regulates when you sleep and stay awake.
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How to cram an hour before an exam or test

How to cram an hour before an exam or test

by Mark Miller December 28, 2016 4 min read

Preparing for exams and tests in high school and college may be essential to getting an A, entering the university of your dreams or making the grade to go on for a master’s degree. Assuming you’ve studied the subject or subjects thoroughly, what should you do just one before an exam?

If it’s a big mid-term or final, an Advanced Placement or a Graduate Record Exam or other graduate school test, most people have to study the subjects thoroughly during the semester or school year or years. Attempting to learn all the material one hour before the very end is not a good strategy for a final exam or for a placement test.

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What coffee & caffeine do to you when fasting

What coffee & caffeine do to you when fasting

by Mark Miller December 20, 2016 5 min read

Caffeine and fasting are controversial in some circles. Is it truly fasting if you have coffee or other liquids during your time of abstaining from eating? Some people say to be a pure fast, one must drink only water and eat nothing. Others maintain that having coffee and/or other liquids is healthier and ensures you don’t become dehydrated.

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Coffee or energy drink before exams? Here's why you should drink water instead

Coffee or energy drink before exams? Here's why you should drink water instead

by Mark Miller December 08, 2016 4 min read

Coffee before exams? Say you have a big mid-term or final exam coming up. You should power down big doses of caffeine in coffee or an energy drink, right? Not according to what we’ve read online. There are few formal, scientific studies about what to drink before exams, but the anecdotal evidence seems to point to water as the best beverage beforehand.

It’s important to get enough water so you don’t become fatigued from dehydration. That said, you can get some water from drinking coffee or energy drinks. Those old stories about coffee being a diuretic are true, but only if you drink so much that you get excess amounts of caffeine. Coffee and other caffeine-containing products are healthy for you when taken in moderate amounts, as we have written several times on this blog before.

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Does caffeine makes you smarter? Sort of (maybe)

Does caffeine makes you smarter? Sort of (maybe)

by Mark Miller July 07, 2016 4 min read

Is it true caffeine makes you smarter? Sort of, it seems, at least indirectly. Researchers have studied this question a lot, and two groups of researchers did meta-studies (studies of studies) to determine just exactly what, if any, the conclusions of the scientific literature are.

If the title sounds like we’re hedging our bets, we are.

Whether caffeine makes you smarter is one question. Whether it makes you feel good is another. Test subjects in studies report they’re in a better mood after taking caffeine, they’re more alert and less fatigued.

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Pregnant women should limit caffeine intake

Pregnant women should limit caffeine intake

by Mark Miller April 07, 2016 4 min read

Recent news about caffeine, pregnancy and miscarriage is kind of confusing. A complex study from the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University linked couple’s consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day to a risk of miscarriage. Just to be safe, women trying to conceive and pregnant women should limit caffeine intake.

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Getting enough sleep when having caffeine and alcohol

Getting enough sleep when having caffeine and alcohol

by Mark Miller March 31, 2016 4 min read

Balancing sleep, caffeine and alcohol can be like walking the high wire. The National Sleep Foundation calls caffeine and alcohol “sleep stealers.” But studies show they are beneficial in moderate amounts.

6:38 a.m. That hour comes all too early, especially if people were drinking the night before. It’s the time when the average American awakens after an average night of 7 hours and 36 minutes of sleep. And the first thing most people do in the morning is brew a pot of coffee.

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Evidence shows that coffee is healthy for you

Evidence shows that coffee is healthy for you

by Mark Miller March 24, 2016 4 min read

A 2015 study of more than 1.2 million people found that folks who drink 3 to 5 cups of black coffee a day have fewer heart problems than those who drink none. People who drink 5 or more cups don’t have any more problems than anyone else.

Two other studies, meta-analyses that collated data from 11 other research articles, found that drinking 2 to 6 cups a day results in a lower risk of stroke disease. One of those meta-studies included data from more than 500,000 participants.

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