If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your brain power, check out these brain-boosting beverages. They are quick, and easy, and you probably have at least one of them in your cupboard or refrigerator right now.
Brain drinks & Why are brain boosters important?
Let’s face it…the brain is important. It is the control station of your body, keeping all systems — heartbeat, respiration, blood circulation, and much more — working perfectly. The brain is necessary for thinking, planning, emotions…everything. So, it’s important to keep your brain in perfect working order, and brain boosters can help you do that.
Here are 3 brain-boosting beverages scientifically proven to support cognitive function.
Coffee for your brain drinks
If you’re a coffee drinker, you already know that there’s nothing like a strong cup of coffee to wake up you and your brain. A major reason for this effect is that coffee contains a powerful stimulant– caffeine.
How does caffeine wake you up? It’s simple, really. Caffeine simply blocks the adenosine receptors in your brain that promote sleep. The result is increased attention and wakefulness.
Indeed, caffeine intake has been shown to increase wakefulness and attention in numerous clinical research studies. It has also been shown to increase alertness and reaction time, and to counteract diminished mental performance caused by sleep deprivation.1, 2, 3
And get this…coffee may even defend against Alzheimer’s disease (that’s right, coffee does make you poop and help brain function). In a study with mice, researchers discovered that caffeine intake not only appeared to protect against age-related memory impairment but also restored memory in cognitively-impaired mice!4
So, go ahead and pour yourself another cup of coffee. Your brain will thank you!
Green tea is a brain drink?
Green tea is another powerful brain-boosting beverage you’ll want to drink regularly.
Green tea has gotten a lot of attention lately for its metabolism-boosting properties, which can enhance calorie burn and weight loss. But these same properties have also been shown to improve cognitive function.
The brain-boosting effects of green tea appear to be due to its l-theanine, caffeine, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) content. L-theanine is an amino acid known to promote relaxation, yet when combined with caffeine, it may increase focus and improve memory.5
EGCG is a polyphenols compound found in green tea that may also have neuroprotective properties. In fact, EGCG has been shown to modulate brain activity. In one study, participants given EGCG showed a significant increase in their alpha, beta, and theta brain wave activity. Participants reported increased calmness and reduced stress. This suggests that EGCG may promote relaxation and improve attention.6
These and other studies suggest that green tea is a great brain-boosting beverage!
Green smoothies can be a brain drink.
The brain-boosting properties of a green smoothie depend upon its ingredients. The most common ingredients of green smoothies are:
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
- Protein powder
- Almond milk
At least some of these ingredients have brain-boosting properties. For instance, several studies suggest that the consumption of leafy green vegetables may help prevent impaired brain function. For example, a study published in the journal Neurology found that just one serving of green leafy vegetables per day may slow age-related cognitive decline.
Researchers believe this effect may be due to the neuroprotective properties of some of the nutrients.7
A compound found in celery, called luteolin, has been shown to reduce brain inflammation in clinical research studies. This could reduce the risk of inflammatory brain conditions.8 And cucumber, another popular smoothie ingredient, contains fisetin, a compound shown to enhance memory in rodents.9
These and other ingredients make green smoothies a powerful and tasty brain booster!
1- Wyatt JK, Cajochen C, Ritz-De Cecco A, Czeisler CA, Dijk DJ. Low-dose repeated caffeine administration for circadian-phase-dependent performance degradation during extended wakefulness. Sleep. 2004 May 1;27(3):374-81. doi: 10.1093/sleep/27.3.374. PMID: 15164887.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15164887/
2- Snel j, Lorist MM. Effects of caffeine on sleep and cognition. Progress in Brain Research
Volume 190, 2011, Pages 105-117. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444538178000062
3- McLellan TM, Caldwell JA, Lieberman HR. A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Dec;71:294-312. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Sep 6. PMID: 27612937.
4- Arendash GW, Cao C. Caffeine and coffee as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S117-26. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-091249. PMID: 20182037.
5- Owen GN, Parnell H, De Bruin EA, Rycroft JA. The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutr Neurosci. 2008 Aug;11(4):193-8. doi: 10.1179/147683008X301513. PMID: 18681988.
6- Scholey A, Downey LA, Ciorciari J, Pipingas A, Nolidin K, Finn M, Wines M, Catchlove S, Terrens A, Barlow E, Gordon L, Stouch C. Acute neurocognitive effects of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Appetite. Volume 58, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 767-770. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666311006453
7- Morris MC, Wang Y, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Dawson-Hughes B, Booth SL. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2018 Jan 16;90(3):e214-e222. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815. Epub 2017 Dec 20. PMID: 29263222; PMCID: PMC5772164. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29263222/
8- Kelli M. Can Celery Help Cut Brain Inflammation? WebMD Archives. May 28, 2008. https://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20080519/can-celery-help-cut-brain-inflammation#:~:text=May%2020%2C%202008%20–%20A%20compound%20found%20in,a%20potent%20antioxidant%20known%20for%20its%20anti-inflammatory%20properties
9- Maher P, Akaishi T, Abe K. Flavonoid fisetin promotes ERK-dependent long-term potentiation and enhances memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Oct 31;103(44):16568-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0607822103. Epub 2006 Oct 18. PMID: 17050681; PMCID: PMC1637622.