As if you needed any more excuses to indulge in that extra cup of joe, we’ve got a new one for you: Drinking coffee could help protect your brain. New research from The Journals of Gerontologyfound that people who consumed a higher-than-average daily amount of caffeine were less likely to develop dementia or other cognitive impairment.
So how much coffee is enough to reap these benefits? The study found that women who consumed an average of 261 mg of caffeine (had a “36 percent reduction in the risk of incident dementia over 10 years of follow-up.” That’s about two or three 8-ounce cups of “regular-strength” coffee or a tall Pike’s Place coffee at Starbucks. The study looked at 6,467 women over the age of 65 and adjusted for other risk factors including hormone therapy, age, race, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption.
The authors do caution that the results of the study aren’t enough to establish an irrefutable relationship between caffeine consumption and the avoidance of dementia, but with all of the other health benefits we’ve already noted, we see no reason not to drink up.
So go ahead and order that extra cappuccino in the morning—with any luck, it will keep you awake for the day, and your mind sharp in the future!