But what exactly is all that caffeine doing to our bodies -- besides giving us that much-needed jolt to get out the door in the morning? Don't worry: We're not here to scare you off the stuff...though introverts may want to steer clear of it during certain crucial life-moments. Here, how our beloved caffeine fix can affect everything from our memory to -- hold onto those coffee cups -- how long we live.
It Boosts Memory
In the study, researchers gave participants a caffeine tablet or a placebo five minutes after having them study a series of images. The following day, the caffeine consumers were more likely to correctly distinguish whether shots in a new set of images were the same or simply similar to the images they had originally viewed.
Now if only coffee could help us forget the memory of all those painful all-nighters we've had to pull.
It Helps You Cheat Death
It Hinders Introverts
"After ingesting about two cups of coffee, extraverts carry out tasks more efficiently, whereas introverts perform less well," he writes. "This deficit is magnified if the task they are engaging in is quantitative [think: math] and if it is done under time pressure." The thinking behind the theory is that introverts, who tend to operate at an optimal level of alertness, are over stimulated by caffeine consumption, making them more distracted and less likely to perform well when tackling tasks. But, hey, introverts have still got good ol' booze when it comes to overcoming their inhibitions, so there's that.
It Makes You Alert AF
Once it's crossed that barrier, it blocks the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in making us tired, explains Marci Clow, MS, registered dietician and senior nutritionist for Rainbow Light supplements. "By blocking adenosine other neurotransmitters, we become more alert," she says. "Studies have found that the caffeine equivalent of about two cups of coffee can enhance cognitive function and mood among sleep-deprived people, and affect the specific areas of the brain responsible for memory and concentration."
All of which is good news for those of us wishing to continue our coffee addiction. Bottoms up!