According to an article published in “New Scientist,” drinking coffee on a regular basis can improve short-term memory and increase your reaction time. Caffeine stimulates certain areas of your brain, including your prefrontal cortex, which is involved in memory and concentration. The caffeine in coffee also affects your adenosine receptors by inhibiting them, which then excites nerve cells throughout your brain, giving a stimulating effect on your energy and attention levels.
Compounds found in coffee may have a protective effect against some diseases that affect your brain and central nervous system, including Alzheimer’s disease. According to a 2010 study published in the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,” the caffeine in coffee can protect against memory impairment and lower levels of certain proteins in your brain that are thought to be related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research may be necessary to determine the overall beneficial effect that coffee has on the prevention of this disease.
According to a NBC news article, researchers at Brown University found that coffee intake may have anti-carcinogenic properties and can actually protect your brain from the development of brain cancer. In an epidemiological study that followed over 400,000 people over the course of eight years, the Brown researchers found that people who drank at least a half a cup of coffee daily had a 34 percent decreased risk of developing certain brain tumors when compared to people who did not consume coffee at all.
Despite the potential benefits that coffee consumption has on your brain, there may also be health risks. According to “USA Today,” coffee consumption can increase your risk of a brain aneurysm rupture. Brain aneurysms are weakened, bulging arteries that can rupture easily, causing your body to bleed internally. A high coffee intake can increase your blood pressure, which places excess stress on the arteries throughout your body, including your brain. This may increase the risk of rupturing an artery and causing brain damage or even death.