Does Coffee Improve Memory? – Facts and Benefits


Coffee lovers and drinkers may have wondered about the good effects of caffeine for brain health and memory.

Caffeine is known to increase the alertness of its consumers, but Does Coffee Improve Memory?

Find out the fact whether there is a connection between coffee and memory enhancement for those who consume it.

Coffee Content

Coffee does contain caffeine, but keep in mind that coffee does not only contain caffeine.

There are hundreds of bioactive compounds present in coffee without much being known and these compounds are also useful in improving and maintaining a healthy body, including the brain. [1].

The active compounds in question are in coffee and are good for the body including: [1,2]:

  • Caffeine: Caffeine is known as a psychoactive substance which, if taken, will stimulate the central nervous system and is useful in increasing alertness.
  • Trigonelline: Trigonelline is an alkaloid compound that is useful in preventing the body from attacking bacterial infections because it can inhibit their growth in the body. In addition, this substance also functions to process vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid as well as being a protector for the teeth (preventing cavity).
  • Chlorogenic Acid: Chlorogenic acid is classified as a polyphenol antioxidant that has a role as a regulator of high blood pressure as well as metabolism of sugar in the blood.
  • Kahweol and Cafestol: These two compounds are types of natural oils that are friendly to the liver. This compound is always present in coffee, which is also useful as a protector of body cells from the effects of free radicals and maintains healthy body tissues.

These ingredients are always present in every type of coffee, it’s just that the levels can be different for each type of coffee .

How to process coffee also determines the amount of content of these compounds.

The effects of these compounds can also be obtained by the body according to the amount of coffee consumed

Does coffee improve memory?

Yes, because according to research by Johns Hopkins University, caffeine (high content in coffee) can improve long-term memory. [4].

So for people who often forget or become forgetful, caffeine can help keep the memory from falling easily [4].

In the study, participants were given 200 mg of caffeine in tablet form each time after studying a series of pictures [4].

After taking the caffeine tablets, the participants were tested the next day and proved to be much better at differentiating the same images from similar images. [4].

The effect of caffeine on improving cognitive function is quite large, but through these studies, it is proven that memory can be stronger because of caffeine [4].

This study was also conducted to determine the interaction between caffeine and human memory [4].

According to another study, drinking coffee at the same time as obtaining information, it will be easier to store and remember that information [5].

So in other words, coffee consumers who drink coffee when they get information and when they have to remember something, their memory will work better. [5].

However, there are still some studies that show the opposite where people who consume caffeine have a worse memory performance by recalling incorrect or inaccurate memories. [6].

Benefits of Coffee for Brain and Memory

The following are the benefits of coffee for the brain and memory that have been through the research process.

1. Sharpen Memory

The effect of caffeine from coffee is able to stimulate the brain to work more optimally in remembering things [4,5,6].

Even someone who is easy to forget or even things that tend to be easily forgotten will be remembered by people who consume coffee [,4,5,6].

However, if you consume excessive coffee or caffeine, be careful because memory can actually decrease, be inaccurate or disrupted.

2. Increase Concentration Power

A person is easy to forget because his brain is no longer easy to focus on things that he even pays attention to.

Consuming coffee will also have a good effect on concentration power thanks to the caffeine in the bloodstream [7].

Caffeine in the bloodstream will stimulate the production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline because of its interaction with adenosine receptors. [7].

Not only more focused or concentrated, caffeine is also able to make consumers more alert when they need to be awake [8].

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3. Reducing the Risk of Brain Health Disorders

Being forgetful early can usually be related to the brain and nerve diseases, such as: Alzheimer and dementia [9,10].

Not only the ability to remember and think will decrease and worsen in both conditions, but also changes in behavior in sufferers [9,10].

These two conditions can eventually make a person no longer optimal in carrying out their daily activities [9,10].

However, consuming coffee can slow the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia because coffee is also known for its high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant content [11,12,13].

Thus, brain cells are protected from the effects of free radicals and inflammation [11,12,13].

In addition to the two diseases of the brain and nerves, the risk Parkinson’s disease (disruptions to dopamine-producing brain cells that are able to make body movements problematic) can also be minimized by drinking coffee [14,15].

Coffee for memory improvement is still not proven to be 100% effective due to different study results; therefore, immediately see a doctor if you have problems with memory instead of relying on coffee.

  1. Katarzyna Soca?a, Aleksandra Szopa, Anna Serefko, Ewa Poleszak & Piotr Wla?. Neuroprotective Effects of Coffee Bioactive Compounds: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences; 2020.
  2. Abdulmumin A Nuhu. Bioactive micronutrients in coffee: recent analytical approaches for characterization and quantification. ISRN Nutrition; 2014.
  3. Video: TDC
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Caffeine Has Positive Effect on Memory. Johns Hopkins Medicine; 2022.
  5. William L. Kelemen & Catherine E. Creeley. State-Dependent Memory Effects Using Caffeine and Placebo Do Not Extend to Metamemory. The Journal of General Psychology; 2010.
  6. Stephanie M. Sherman, Timothy P. Buckley, Elsa Baena & Lee Ryan. Caffeine Enhances Memory Performance in Young Adults during Their Non-optimal Time of Day. Frontiers in Psychology; 2016.
  7. Fawaz Alasmari. Caffeine induces neurobehavioral effects through modulating neurotransmitters. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal; 2020.
  8. CHS Ruxton. The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks. Nutrition Bulletin; 2008.
  9. Anil Kumar; Jaskirat Sidhu; Amandeep Goyal; & Jack W. Tsao. Alzheimer’s Disease. National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2021.
  10. Prabhu D. Emmady & Prasanna Yesterday. dementia. National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2022.
  11. Marjo H Eskelinen & Miia Kivipelto. Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; 2010.
  12. Marjo H Eskelinen, Tiia Ngandu, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Hilkka Soininen, & Miia Kivipelto. Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: a population-based CAIDE study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; 2009.
  13. L Maia & A de Mendona. Does caffeine intake protect from Alzheimer’s disease?. European Journal of Neurology; 2002.
  14. A Ascherio, SM Zhang, MA Hernán, I Kawachi, GA Colditz, FE Speizer, & WC Willett. Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. Annals of Neurology; 2001.
  15. GW Ross, RD Abbott, H Petrovitch, DM Morens, A Grandinetti, KH Tung, CM Tanner, KH Masaki, PL Blanchette, JD Curb, JS Popper, & LR White. Association of coffee and caffeine intake with the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Journal of the American Medical Association; 2000.