Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

posted by Madeline Schrock on Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014
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Photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe.

Coffee’s many health benefits have been touted for years, and now science is suggesting that you can still reap its rewards even after your caffeine crash. Research recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience found that coffee offers memory-enhancing effects 24 hours after you guzzle your cup of joe.

 

The study asked male and female volunteers who weren’t already caffeine fiends to memorize a series of pictures. Then, half the group was given a pill with 200-milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to the amount in one or two cups of coffee) and the others were given a placebo. They all returned the next day and were shown another series of pictures. The group who’d taken the caffeine pill was far better able to identify when the images were similar though not exactly the same as the pictures they’d seen the day before.

 

 

What does this mean for dancers? Try drinking your java 24 hours before a tricky repertoire session, and you may be better able to remember nuanced details of the choreography. That means your leisurely coffee break after a rehearsal on Monday can prep you for your rehearsal of the same piece on Tuesday. But dancers be warned: If picking up choreography isn’t your strongest suit, don’t think that downing three or four cups will increase your recall skills. Similar studies found that consuming more than 200 milligrams of caffeine didn’t increase participants’ memories any more. And, those who had less than 200 milligrams didn’t experience any memory-boosting effects. Drink your one to two cups today, and you could be a choreography-recalling machine tomorrow.