Does coffee improve your work performance?
Coffee has a seductive and intoxicating aroma that produces an ensuing jolt of alertness. A wake-up call for many of us, coffee can help to power us through our workday and life. Unsurprisingly, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages around the world, and it is loaded with intrinsic benefits. There is persuasive scientific evidence that the consumption of coffee is associated with increased longevity, and decreased health risks. A vast body of research points conclusively to coffee as a brew rich with antioxidants. It can help to ward off heart conditions, keep cancer at bay, and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. US guidelines by The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee stated that there were few health risks associated with drinking coffee in moderate amounts.
A small dose makes a difference at work
Even a small amount of coffee can make all the difference at the office. There are strong links between productivity and coffee consumption with almost 50% of workers noting that they are less productive without coffee. As long as you don’t drink excessively and overdo it, drinking coffee in moderate amounts can ramp up your productivity levels at work.
Coffee keeps you alert and awake
The caffeine contained in coffee puts a halt to the main compound found within your brain that makes you tired and sleepy. It is called adenosine, and the substance builds up throughout your day, progressively lowering your body’s energy levels, and making you sleepy. After you drink a cup of coffee in the morning, you may still have leftover adenosine in your system which in turn makes you tired earlier. By refuelling with a coffee in the afternoon, you replenish your body system and ward off that unwanted afternoon slump. The caffeine will effectively block your brain’s adenosine receptors, so it will no longer ‘think’ it is sleepy.
Enhanced memory & improved focus
Caffeine also has the magical power to ramp up your brain’s energy levels, which equates to enhanced memory, better ability to focus clearly, improved problem-solving, and overall cognitive function. If you need to concentrate on an important task or crucial project, a cup of coffee will heighten your focus. You brain snaps to attention faster, helping you plow your way through simple and mundane tasks, or help you sort out the more complex issues of your workday.
Coffee fosters creativity
Coffee can help people be more creative at work, both individually and in a group setting. Sitting together over coffee can break down social and professional barriers, leading to a more casual and freewheeling conversation. Coffee stimulates the brain and can trigger a dreamy, wandering state of mind that is often conducive to creative, and out-of-the-box thinking. Others argue that coffee ends up putting a damper on creativity due to the alertness it fosters. For others, it blows away the cobwebs and stimulates their brains, thereby making room for innovative thinking and sudden jolts of inspiration.
Do your best work
Coffee can help you learn new things quicker and more effectively. Did you ever notice college and university campuses are littered with cafes? The reason is that a coffee-fueled brain works overtime thereby helping you to learn faster. It also improves information retention. You don’t necessarily need to be a student to utilise this competitive advantage, it works just as well at the office. Nutrition studies found that drinking coffee leads to improved short-term memory and an enhanced ability to solve reason-based problems. So whether studying or learning new things at work, coffee can shorten your learning time and make you more productive.
What’s the limit?
How much is too much coffee? There may be too much of a good thing with coffee. If you start exceeding five cups a day, which is over 500-600 milligrams of caffeine, your body will begin to feel over-caffeinated. Side effects include irritability, upset stomachs, increased heartbeat, muscular tremors, and restlessness. These adverse side effects vary from one person to another, and it may take fewer, or more cups for some to create such adverse reactions. As coffee enthusiasts openly admit, drinking coffee is addictive, and can keep you awake at night. You can always switch to decaf and still get a moderate amount of benefits from your cup of coffee, without the jittery nerves. Drinking coffee in moderation for most people will translate into improved productivity and performance at work. So get out your espresso machine and make that perfect macchiato, ground coffee, or latte, and make a fresh cup of coffee for stimulating your workday!