It’s already been called an elixir of life by some and many just can’t do without it in the morning. We’re talking about the miracle drink coffee. It is an awakener and pick-me-up, gets our heart and circulatory system going, and instigates the supply of additional blood to the head. The catalyst for all of this is the ingredient caffeine, which according to the latest studies is capable of so much more too!
Coffee Allows Words to Stand Out Better
At least that’s what two German researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum, Lars Kuchinke and Vanessa Lux, have been claiming. According to their study, the active ingredient caffeine allows words charged with positive emotion to be recognized faster and more easily. This effect was tested on 66 test subjects. They were given the task of picking words, in which certain letters had been switched, out from a word list as quickly as possible. Before starting, half of the test subjects took a caffeine tablet and the others took a placebo – a tablet without the active ingredient. It turned out that the caffeine group was better than the placebo group at separating out incorrectly spelled words that were positively charged. Negatively charged and neutral words were recognized equally well by both groups.
The Solution to the Puzzle?
It has long been known that we can filter positively charged words out of a text faster and more easily than negative or neutral terms. This seems pretty logical since we do prefer to surround ourselves with happy people rather than with unhappy ones. The fact that caffeine, of all things, allows us to see the world with fresh eyes is new. Scientists explain the connection as follows: the effect of caffeine is especially strong on those brain functions that discharge dopamine when activated. Systems that depend on the use of dopamine, such as the language system, are specifically involved in processing positive impressions. So if you were to consume caffeine by doing something like drinking coffee, you would be stimulating exactly this process and would thus be enhancing your perception of positive impressions.
|Tea||1 cup at 150 ml||50 mg|
|Cocoa||1 cup at 150 ml||5 mg|
|Dark chocolate||100 g piece||90 mg|
|Milk chocolate||100 g piece||15 mg|
|Cola||333 ml||40 mg|
|Energy drinks||one can||80 mg|
For comparison – one cup of tea with about 150ml in it contains approximately 100mg of caffeine. These estimates have been taken from the Pharmazeutischen Zeitung (Pharmaceutical Journal).
It’s not just our language center that reacts to the caffeine in a cup of coffee. When coffee is consumed on a regular basis, the circulation in the body will even be strengthened! An effect similar to that of doing sports. According to the Swiss University Clinic of Lausanne, caffeine first causes high blood pressure that decreases after some time has passed – similar to when you go jogging. This trains the heart and protects from heart circulation injury, assuming that no nicotine is consumed. Some studies even advise professional endurance athletes to consume caffeine. This is supposed to help increase the sensitivity of muscle fibers to movement. To find out more about this issue, we recommend an article of Active.
And the miracle substance is even supposed to have a solution at the ready for fighting the recently widespread illness Alzheimer’s. At least this has already been successfully proven in two US studies on mice – memory loss was prevented in the little rodents and preexisting problems with the ability to remember things were also partially reversed. It will, however, take a few years of research to figure out the extent to which this discovery is usable in humans.