Embrace Caffeine for Better Memory

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We, at Home Care Assistance, care about sharp minds, so we paid special attention to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that supported reports about caffeine successfully acting as a memory aid. The study in the July 2009 issue of the journal found that a moderate level of caffeine intake (the equivalent of five cups of coffee per day) protects from the development of cognitive impairment and helps restore memory.

These findings build on earlier scientific studies in the January 2002 issue of Psychological Science. In that study, researches found that the stimulant effect of caffeine can improve memory. The study started by considering earlier findings that memory in seniors is often best early in the day. As the day ticks by, memory abilities decline, with the most confusing moments coming at the end of the day. Subjects were given coffee and memory tests at eight in the morning and at four in the afternoon. The control group was given decaffeinated coffee and “showed a significant decline in memory performance from morning to afternoon.” The caffeinated group, by contrast, showed no decline in performance.

At Home Care Assistance, we’re always looking for tips to help our clients, whether it relates to food, exercise … or coffee! We offer these seven tips for caffeine consumption:

  • Keep your caffeine intake under 300 mg (at the most).
  • Limit caffeine intake to before lunch to avoid having the caffeine adversely affect your sleep.
  • Exercise after having caffeine to take advantage of the energy boost caffeine can provide as well as mitigate its stress-inducing properties.
  • Know your caffeine levels: Strong drip coffee (145 mg), espresso (75 mg), instant coffee (60 mg), black tea (60 mg), green tea (25 mg), cola drinks (range from 40 to 60 mg).
  • Avoid hyper-caffeinated beverages such as Jolt or Red Bull.
  • Know that even “decaf” versions of naturally caffeinated beverages like coffee have some caffeine in them.
  • Herbal teas come in a wide range of flavors, from robust and earthy to mild and floral, and are an excellent substitute for sipping in the afternoon and evening.

Some people call it “joe.” We call it “liquid memory.”


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