Coffee and Memory: Does Caffeine Help or Hinder?

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Does caffeine have a direct impact on memory? We dug deep to find out.

Can drinking coffee improve your memory?

A recent study from Johns Hopkins University says that caffeinated beverages (like coffee!) might be able to help people remember more clearly -- but there's a caveat. 

In the experiment, researchers showed a series of flash cards with everyday images like ducks, an office chair, and a saxophone to two groups of people -- half of which had caffeine and the other half had a placebo. 

The next day, both groups were shown a mix of images -- some were the same as the day before, some slightly different, others completely new. The group who had caffeine was better able to identify which objects were similar (but not identical) than those who had no caffeine. Crazy, right?

Here's the interesting part -- researchers dug even deeper to find the "optimal" dose of caffeine for memory boost, and they identified 200 mg as the magic number. For reference, an 8 oz. cup of regular coffee has anywhere from 95-200 grams of caffeine.

Researchers don't exactly know why or how caffeine plays a role in information retention and memory, but they do know that coffee can help prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's

So next time you're feeling a little foggy, reach for a cup of Joe!

RELATED: To learn some other impressive health benefits of coffee, click here.