Coffee Doesn’t Just Wake You Up, It May Help Brighten Your Mood and Boost Longevity
Drinking a brisk cup of coffee in the morning — and several more throughout the day — has been shown to improve one’s alertness and cognitive function. The widely popular drink also may help put a smile on your face and even increase your longevity, research suggests.
Caffeine increases alertness and brain function, studies show. The stimulant blocks a neurotransmitter in the brain that makes people sleepy. Research also indicates that caffeine may boost additional feel-good neurotransmitters that improve mood.
Other brain benefits of coffee include the beverage’s levels of polyphenols, studies note. Consumption of foods rich in polyphenols may enhance cognitive and motor function in aging, according to a 2009 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research Service.
Better yet, coffee appears to be associated with increased longevity. Several large studies have linked coffee consumption with lower risk of early mortality. Habitual intake of three to four cups of coffee per day appears to be safe, and is associated with the most robust beneficial effects, notes one of the studies.
That said, experts acknowledge there is not enough evidence to suggest people should drink more coffee for the sake of longer life expectancy . And drinking coffee before bedtime can keep one awake.
Pharmacists, as trusted health care providers, are often asked for nutritional advice to improve brain health. When it comes to coffee, it’s safe to say that several cups each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.