It’s exam week and you’re freaking out about how much work you still have to do and how many topics are yet to be covered in such a short amount of time. It can be very hectic and stressful.
Every student experience a lot of pressure when preparing for an exam. This can stress the brain and make studying difficult and almost impossible.
Luckily, there’s a magic drink that can assist in making your studying very effective and tolerable. Let’s learn more about this magic drink and how it works.
How Does Coffee Work?
When you drink coffee, the caffeine, contained in it enters your bloodstream and stimulates the Central Nervous System, the heart and the muscles. It is chemically similar to neuromodulator adenosine which builds up through the day and causes drowsiness at night. Caffeine connects the adenosine receptors in your brain, blocking the effects of adenosine and reduces tiredness which helps you stay awake. It also increases the level of adrenaline and brain activity of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters).
For more details, read How Does Coffee Work?
Psychological Effects of Coffee
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it psychologically affects us positively or negatively, depending on the type of individual and level of consumption.
When consumed appropriately, caffeine helps to improve cognitive disabilities like low retentive ability which can be caused by sleep deprivation.
It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, stroke and some other psychological problems.
But when overly consumed, it can lead to insomnia or getting into a very deep sleep, anxiety, migraines and stomach upsets.
Another aspect is that it can be mentally addictive and sudden withdrawal may cause you to be mentally unfocused and lethargic.
Taking in a large amount of caffeine of about 650 milligrams per day can lead to psychotic behavior and aggression.
Does Coffee Help You Study?
You’ve got a big exam tomorrow and you’re neck deep in books trying to comprehend and retain as much information as you can. And like every other student, you get yourself a cup of coffee because you read somewhere that it can help boost your brain activity and keep you from falling asleep, but does it really work?
Well, it may not make you smarter but it does aid learning abilities by promoting alertness and helping to reduce fatigue which aids the short-term memory in the ability to retain information leading to better understanding.
It can also enhance your mood and keep you concentrated on the task at hand.
Short Term Benefits of Coffee
Most of these benefits can only be acquired through taking decaffeinated coffee.
- It is a primary source of antioxidants which helps to prevent inflammation. Inflammation is an underlying cause of some chronic conditions like arthritis, cancer etc. Coffee contains an important antioxidant called chlorogenic acid which aids in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Coffee affects some specific parts of the brain that is responsible for concentration and memory. It boosts short-term memory.
- It reduces the risk of getting arterial damage or heart related diseases which are caused by inflammation.
- It may reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes by helping the body make use of insulin and regulating the flow of blood sugar.
- Consumption of coffee reduces elevated levels of liver enzymes that cause cirrhosis and damage to the liver.
- A calculated and regular intake of coffee can help to elevate your mood and reduce depression.
Long Term Effects of Coffee
The caffeine boost can feel very good but it only lasts for so long. It eventually wears off and all the adenosine you had displaced and inhibited rushes back and floods the brain causing fatigue and a crash of energy. When you take caffeine at a late hour during the day, it affects your quality of sleep and sleep patterns so you’re likely to feel lethargic the next day.
If you continue with the irregular coffee intakes, you become more dependent on your morning coffee which leads to insomnia and grogginess then more afternoon coffees and the cycle continues.
How to Get the Most out of Coffee when Studying
- Consume your coffee right before carrying out important tasks.
- Do not take coffee eight hours before going to bed.
- Take coffee one sip at a time rather than in gulps to even out the effectiveness in your focus.
- Every once in a while, try to re-arrange your tolerance to caffeine.
- Adhere to taking only four cups of coffee per day.
The use of coffee when studying can be very effective and efficient in boosting learning and memory retention abilities but you need to be careful with the amount of caffeine you take into your system. Make sure to take coffee at the time required. Coffee has a lot of benefits when not overused.