Even if you happen to enjoy the taste of coffee (who doesn’t?) most people reach for a flat white when they’re feeling tired and lacking energy. Sometimes it’s for a kick start in the morning and sometimes it’s to get you through that 3pm slump. There are a lot of rumours that fly around questioning just how great coffee is for your productivity, so we did some research to see if that bolt of energy is real or a delightful (and useful!) illusion. Here's what we found out about coffee:
- It improves your physical performance
Many professional athletes use caffeine to give them an extra boost and guess what’s in coffee? Yep. Good ol’ caffeine. So if you’re doing something particularly physical like running lots of errands, moving house or if you work in manual labour, coffee will help you power your way through busy physical days.
- It helps you calm your farm
Coffee has kahweol and cafestol oils in it which are anti-inflammatory. It’s been shown that regular consumption of coffee (and its healing oils) will protect the brain of oxidative stress and other damage caused by inflammation. So essentially it helps you to stress less. Tip: Use a French press to brew your coffee as other methods of brewing tend to destroy these oils.
- It gives you energy
Well technically speaking that’s not true. It gives you a feeling of energy which can be just as powerful. Caffeine can’t give your body energy because it doesn’t provide calories to the body but the brain reacts to the caffeine-blocking neurotransmitter adenosine in your brain which is known as a ‘quieter’. So instead of giving you energy, caffeine actually blocks a part of your brain that is making you chill. So coffee ‘giving’ you energy is kind of myth but most people still feel energised anyway so where’s the harm really?
- It helps you focus and improves your memory
A review published in 2012 has shown some pretty darn convincing evidence that caffeine improves focus for simple and complex tasks. There is a caveat though - more coffee doesn’t equal more focus. The first cup will give you excellent focus results but every cup after the first cup showed diminishing returns. Bummer. You’ll just have to have your second and third flat white because you love the taste! Caffeine also increases the activity of acetylcholine in your body, which has been proven to improve long-term memory!
- It can boost creativity
Well actually it's the act of drinking coffee, not the coffee itself, that boosts your creativity. White noise and back ground stimulants, typically heard while consuming coffee in cafes or public places can increase your ability to do creative work - more than low, high and no noise environments. This particular level of noise is found in cafes and communal work areas. So even the act of seeking out coffee but not actually drinking it can help give you a work boost!
So, caffeine is beneficial for your productivity... It's not like we actually needed any more excuses to drink coffee but it's definitely handy to know!