If you can't imagine going a day without a trusty cup o' joe, well, come sit by me. We'll have a latte (not a little, *ba-dum TISH*) together. But you should also know that the different kinds of coffee you drink can affect your brain in different ways. Don't worry; I'm not about to tell you to give up your beloved morning brew. Should a coffee ban ever be issued, I'll be right there alongside you as we have the hot mugs pried from our overcaffeinated clutches. As such, I'm happy to report that this is coffee news of the beneficial variety.
According to recent studies out of Japan, the aroma of certain types of coffee beans can stimulate the brain's alpha waves — the same waves that spike when you're in a relaxed state. To prove this, scientists monitored participants' brain waves while they sniffed a bunch of freshly-brewed coffee. Yes, please! Someone sign me up for all the jobs in which massive coffee consumption is a fringe benefit.
If you'd like to maintain a bit of mellowness while drinking coffee, opt for Guatemalan or Jamaican Blue Mountain — sniffing these encouraged relaxation. If you're hoping that your morning joe will give you laser focus, brew up a cup of Brazilian Santos, Hawaiian Kona, or Sumatra beans. These make your data processing speeds surge, potentially quickening your decision-making process and sharpening your focus. Fun, right? If you really want to amp up the effect either way, stick with dark roasts, which have a more stable effect than medium roasts.
And since we're extolling the virtues of coffee, let's talk about some of the other interesting perks that come from drinking this lovely beverage.
1. It Can Turn You Into a Grammar Ninja
Having trouble making sense of that office memo? Need to proofread a paper pronto? Grab a cup of coffee and swig, my friend. A 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that caffeine helped students identify and correct errors in grammar, such as subject-verb disagreement.
2. It Can Get You Through Your Workout
While the traditional pre-workout beverage of choice remains water, a recent study by a University of Georgia doctoral student showed that coffee consumption may improve athletic endurance by an average of 24 percent. If you're worried that drinking coffee before you do crunches could dehydrate you, don't. Studies have shown that coffee provides the same amount of hydration as water.
3. It Can Stave Off Skin Cancer
When a group of scientists banded together to study the link between caffeine consumption and skin cancer risk, they found that drinking coffee could help ward off the most commonly diagnosed form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. Not to mention — bonus! — coffee grinds can be used to help combat cellulite.
4. It Can Keep Your Peepers Sharp
You may have heard growing up that eating carrots could help you see better, but they aren't the only thing you can consume to keep your eyes in top form. Because it contains on average seven to nine percent chlorogenic acid — an antioxidant that prevents retinal degeneration — drinking coffee can help prevent eyesight deterioration due to glaucoma, aging, and diabetes.